California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - 
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Steve Chiotakis: The global economic crisis may be trumping global warming as the topic-du-jour in Washington. But in California, climate change still has a place at the table. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today convenes a two-day summit on global climate issues. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton has more.

Sam Eaton: More than 600 officials and activists from as far away as Borneo are attending the summit. They hope to show that while national leaders butt heads over emissions reductions, regional authorities are ready to cooperate.

Summit organizer Terry Tamminen says even with a more climate-friendly White House, states like California will play a vital role in shaping the next international climate treaty.

Terry Tamminen: Any problem benefits from breaking it down into smaller parts and solving those parts and then building it back up to the whole. And the same thing is true with climate policy.

Tamminen says if leaders at next month's U.N. climate talks in Poland can point to successful agreements forged by governors and mayors, the chances of passing a new global warming treaty greatly improve. The California summit includes a promise by U.S. and foreign local leaders to share technology and cut emissions from their most polluting industries.

In Los Angeles, I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

Follow Sam Eaton at @eatonsam