Washington state’s Climate Commitment Act advances to Gov. Inslee’s desk

The Climate Commitment Act, SB 5126, was passed by the Washington state legislature on April 24, the first climate legislation in the country to pave the way for zero net carbon emissions by the year 2050. The historic and carefully crafted cap -and- Invest legislation is now underway for Governor Jay Inslee to be signed into law.

Bill Sponsor Senator Reuven Carlyle and Chair of the House Environment Committee Representative Joe Fitzgibbon worked closely with members of both houses to ensure that the legislation would set both a decreasing limit on carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, while significant investments were made in new infrastructure, transit, agricultural, forestry and shipbuilding projects. The bill puts a hard limit on carbon emissions and lowers that limit from year to year.

Sally Jewell, former US Secretary of the Interior, joined the many voices in support of this legislation.

“To protect our valuable natural resources, our mountain snow cover and our oceans, we now need climate action. The Climate Commitment Act places Washington squarely in a leading role in fighting climate change and protecting the natural places we all love, ”she said.

Importantly, the Climate Commitment Act contains several provisions to give precedence to historically overburdened communities, including the establishment of an Environmental Justice Council.

“The effects of climate change will not be shared equally or fairly between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations,” said Paula Sardinas of the Washington Build Back Black Alliance. By passing SB 5126, she told lawmakers, “we’re going to leave our children a much better planet than the one we’ve all inherited.”

The law is modeled on the only proven solution to ensure that the state not only meets its carbon emissions targets, but also drives economic returns and generates substantial investment for overburdened communities. Integrated with a future transportation funding package, Senate Law 5126 will also be the state’s largest investment in mobility and climate protection, generating billions of dollars in investment in a transition to a low-carbon economy.

News item from Clean & Prosperous Washington

Comments are closed.