Its new emissions plan aims to cut each Californian’s carbon ‘footprint’ from 14 tons to 10 tons a year by 2020.

California’s new carbon-emissions rules – the toughest in the United States – come at a propitious time for those anxious to curb global warming.

The plan is likely to pass muster with an Obama administration, eager to fight climate change, and could serve as a model for other states. It also sends a message internationally. The state’s effort to reduce the average Californian’s carbon “footprint” – from 14 tons per year to around 10 tons by 2020 – is an ambitious goal that is attracting foreign attention.