Climate action is a matter of fairness

Release Date
December 17, 2014

Environmental and clean energy economy leaders respond to Governor Jay Inslee's climate action announcement of Dec. 17, 2014:

Becky Kelley, President, Washington Environmental Council:

“Climate action is fundamentally a matter of fairness. Washingtonians do their best to do right by our state and are now it’s time for polluters to show the same level of responsibility.  By acting as part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, Washington joins a group that represents the equivalent of the 5th largest economy in the world taking action on climate change. We have a chance to really spark action and shape the way others react to climate change. That’s the kind of leadership that will help us establish a healthier and more just future for our state.”

Jessica Finn Coven, Washington State Director, Climate Solutions:

“The impacts of climate change are fundamentally unequal; low-income communities and communities of color are already experiencing the devastating effects of air pollution and global warming. But solutions to global warming can strengthen Washington communities and our economy. Washington alone has led the world on airplanes, software, coffee, and more and can now lead again on innovation and solving the greatest challenge of our time.”

Shannon Murphy, President, Washington Conservation Voters:

“We look forward to working with the Governor and legislature to put Washingtonians’ values and health ahead of polluter profits. Washington voters have consistently shown support for climate action and it’s time to act.”

Bill Arthur, Deputy Western Beyond Coal Campaign Director, Sierra Club: 

"Washington is fortunate to have a governor who listens to the people and local communities already paying the price for global warming and who is committed to strong climate action.  We encourage Governor Inslee and other state leaders to continue their call for Puget Sound Energy, Avista and Pacific Power Utilities to transition off coal-generated electricity and replace it with clean wind, solar and energy efficiency solutions.  This complements the governor’s proposal to hold carbon polluters accountable and will create more family wage jobs and support the vision of investing in renewable energy now."

###

Business leaders across Washington State are supporting the Governor’s efforts to grow the economy by cutting pollution and spurring innovation; they recognize our state's response to climate change as an important economic opportunity.  More than 150 companies have signed on to the Washington Business Climate Declaration calling for policy action on climate change. Below are statements from companies in support of the Governor’s proposal:

Catherine Walker, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, REI:

“Climate change is real and it can’t be ignored.  It was a privilege to host today’s announcement, and we look forward to taking part in the discussion about what can and should be done to combat it. Here in Washington, we enjoy having natural beauty all around us. It’s a constant reminder of why business and government should work together closely on climate change.”  

Steve Banchero, CEO, Cedar Grove Composting:

“Cedar Grove reduces greenhouse gas emissions by turning organic waste into a sustainable product for gardens and soils.  We anticipate that regulations of carbon pollution will help provide market expansion opportunities for our company in the Pacific Northwest.”

Kenny Down, President/CEO, Blue North:

“In the sustainable and rationalized fisheries world, the harvest limits are set by the scientists using the best available science. Once the limit is set, the fishermen are allowed harvest up to that limit using individual allocations. If you reach your allocation or cap, you can trade with another fishermen that has uncaught quota. It is truly a cap and trade system.  I strongly support Governor Inslee’s carbon reduction proposal including some form of carbon pricing. If allowed to move forward, undoubtedly new markets and business opportunities will be created and a source of revenue will be created for Washington State, revenue for early childhood education and other programs that will keep our state competitive in the future and give today’s children the same opportunity afforded to myself and my family.”

Kristi Growdon, Executive Director, Element 8 Angels:

“Element 8 is very pleased that Governor Inslee is advancing the conversation around climate change. In general, Element 8 strongly supports policy which improves air quality and public health, grows employment and transitions away from fossil fuels toward clean alternatives. We are particularly interested in policy that supports job growth in clean technology industries.”

Scott Wyatt, Partner/Chairman, NBBJ:

"NBBJ is proud to support efforts to protect our planet by both the private and public sectors, and applaud Governor Jay Inslee for the work he is doing in Washington State. Thirty-eight percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings. As one of the world’s largest architecture firms, it is our privilege and obligation to confront climate change through our work by creating low-energy schools, hospitals, offices and homes."

Stacy Smedley, Preconstruction Manager – Sustainability, Skanska:

“As a Pacific Northwest native, I understand how blessed we are to work and live in a place where we experience first-hand the beauty, resilience and fragility of the natural environment we are working to protect and restore. As a member of the private sector business community, working for a company with international presence and a history in Washington since 1946, we have consistently witnessed this State be a leader in the realm of environmental protection and innovation. In regard to Clean Energy and climate action, it is no longer a matter of if but when, and the businesses of Washington are in a position to collectively be innovators in forging solutions and new economic opportunities because of our State's continued commitment to positioning us as leaders instead of followers.”

Shannon Ellis-Brock, Chief Operating Officer, Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union:

“Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union is pleased to support a broad package of climate policies, because our membership knows that by cutting carbon pollution and wasted energy, we can become more efficient, more independent and, most importantly, create living wage jobs in all of our communities across the state, from Spokane to Vancouver.

PSCCU embarked on energy efficiency and solar panel financing just over five years ago.  In that time, our credit union has quintupled in size. Over half of our members have invested in residential home energy retrofits or installed solar electricity.  Together, this represents over $80 million of direct investment in Washington’s small business community, $30 million of that last year alone.

By providing financing options, PSCCU is reducing the upfront cost barriers as our members transition to lower-carbon lifestyles.  We are confident that the clean energy technologies on the horizon will continue to allow Washingtonians, like our members, opportunities to reduce carbon pollution by directing wasted energy expenditures into job-creating initiatives.”

Perry England, Vice President of Building Performance, MacDonald-Miller:

“At MacDonald Miller, we are confident that efficiencies and new technologies will enable the state to reduce carbon pollution while maintaining and growing our economy.  We anticipate that any increase in fuel and energy costs resulting from a price on carbon will be more than offset by efficiencies in vehicle technologies and reductions in building energy waste.”

 

###

Washington Environmental Council drives positive change to address our state’s most critical environmental challenges. For more than 45 years, we’ve been pivotal to enacting our most important environmental protections. www.wecprotects.org.

Climate Solutions works to accelerate practical and profitable solutions to global warming by galvanizing leadership, growing investment and bridging divides. For over 15 years, Climate Solutions has pioneered the vision and cultivated political leadership in the Northwest for the proposition that clean energy and broadly shared economic prosperity can go hand-in-hand. Through our programs like Business Leaders, New Energy Cities and Sustainable Advanced Fuels programs, Climate Solutions builds a powerful constituency for local, regional and national action on climate and clean energy.  www.climatesolutions.org

Washington Conservation Voters is the statewide political voice for the environment. We work to elect environmentally responsible candidates to state and local offices. Working with our allies in the community, we advocate for strong environmental policies and hold our elected officials accountable both during and after the legislative session. Through our political work we are strengthening laws that safeguard the health of our communities, preserve the beauty of our state and protect our economic future.  www.wcvoters.org

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide.  In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation.  www.sierraclub.org