Washington State has made important progress on climate with the passage of 100% clean electricity, Clean Fuel Standard, Climate Commitment Act, enshrining environmental justice into law, and establishing energy efficiency standards for commercial buildings statewide. Every day local jurisdictions are making progress on addressing building emissions. But there is more to do to take urgent action to reduce our carbon pollution and meet our statutory climate goals. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is clear: we must continue to take bold actions to address the climate crisis and to avert mounting catastrophic and deadly impacts. We are already seeing climate impacts in Washington, including hotter temperatures, more frequent and fiercer wildfires, and intense flooding. The Washington Legislature must continue to accelerate big solutions to the climate crisis for our health, our climate, and our future.
Buildings are the fastest-growing source of emissions in Washington, which is largely attributable to the use of fossil gas for space and water heating and cooking. If our homes and buildings were carbon-free and energy efficient, we would significantly reduce our climate pollution, drastically cut energy costs for owners and renters, and improve air quality where we live and work. Combusting fossil gas also poses significant health risks for our communities, children, and other vulnerable populations. In addition, where and how we build matters and planning should be consistent with our state’s climate goals. Washington needs policies to move towards 100% clean, all-electric buildings that will keep residents safe and healthy.
The targeted electrification incentive bill will clarify that public utilities can create electrification programs, allowing them to provide incentives for customers to buy efficient heat pumps. Utility electrification programs will improve customer choice, lower the cost of efficient all-electric technologies, and level the playing field between private and public utilities. These programs are beneficial to both the utility and the utility’s customers, so it’s a win-win.
We all want clean, affordable, accessible, safe and efficient ways to get around. Research from Climate Solutions shows the best way to decarbonize transportation requires both electrification of nearly all vehicles on the road and reducing the need for personal vehicles through transit expansion, efficient land use policy, safe bicycle and pedestrian networks, and more. The climate agenda for the 2022 session will set Washington on a path to achieving this future by building on the success of the Clean Fuel Standard.
(AQS) is a progressive and flexible source of revenue that would only impact a small number of Washingtonians who tend to be in the top income quintile. The AQS charge would vary based on a vehicle’s estimated lifetime greenhouse gas pollution, thereby incentivizing cleaner vehicle purchases in addition to providing much-needed multimodal funding.
The Growth Management Act should be updated to reflect climate change, housing affordability, and issues of environmental justice and ensure our long-range planning leads to reduced climate pollution, more resilient communities, and adequate affordable housing. This must happen in the 2022 legislative session, before cities and counties embark on updating their next comprehensive plan, to ensure those plans include considerations for climate change, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and consistency with the state energy strategy and climate goals.
We can have a thriving, equitable Northwest, powered by clean energy and we can lead and inspire the transition to sustainable prosperity across the nation and beyond. The fossil fuel industry’s resistance to innovation and progress toward a clean energy future means that we need a broad and committed movement to accelerate clean energy solutions to the climate crisis. With Washington’s natural resources, historic clean energy achievements, technology leadership, and emphasis on sustainable prosperity make our region a natural leader in the transition to a clean energy future.
HB 1682 | Finishing the Job on the Climate Commitment Act
2021’s passage of the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) will herald a new more sustainable economy for our state, but a number of topics remain unfinished that need to be addressed in 2022 including restoring tribal consent for projects funded with carbon dollars, a long term trajectory for Energy-Intensive Trade-Exposed (EITE) that protects the integrity of the cap and ensures that all sectors—including industry—do their fair share, and developing a program to address the annual 2.7 million tons of climate pollution from landfill emissions.
HB 1812 | Improve Clean Energy Siting
We need to replace our expansive fossil fuel infrastructure—oil refineries, natural gas power plants, and more—with new clean replacements and improved siting laws: clean manufacturing, green hydrogen production, renewable energy generation, new transmission capacity, biofuel refining and more. This includes clarity for project proponents around the state’s expectations, certainty and predictability around review timeline, and more.
HB 1799 | SB 5371 Organics Management
To reduce methane emissions from landfills we need to set a statewide target for diversion of organic material from the landfill/incinerator stream and a separate target for edible food diversion to food rescue groups. Legislation will also reclaim usable food from the waste stream and help provide it to those most in need.
SB 5659 | Buy Clean, Buy Fair
Buy Clean policies, such as the policy passed in California in 2017, mandate that emissions from certain materials be documented and considered when contracting for state-funded infrastructure projects. Adding a Buy Fair element requires contractors and subcontractors to report on domestic labor law compliance in the countries where they produce goods and services, incentivizing clean and fair manufacturing. In 2022, Climate Solutions and partners will prioritize a bill that requires disclosure of embodied carbon (carbon associated with a product’s manufacture) and labor practices to help the state understand its procurement practices, and consider procurement requirements in future sessions.
Washington State Government
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