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. 

Read more about our 2022 legislative priorities.

Buildings

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.

HB 1767 SB 5666 | Targeted Electrification

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.

Transportation

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. 

Air Quality Surcharge

(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.

HB 1099 | Growth Management Act (WA Can't Wait Campaign)

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. 

Cross sector

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

Turning the wheel of revolution

by Gregg Small on June 6, 2017

Following Portland and Multnomah County, our region can and will lead the way towards 100% clean energy.

EVs’ future looks brighter; clean energy ‘unstoppable’

by Seth Zuckerman on May 30, 2017

Teardown of Chevy Bolt reveals it costs $4,600 less to manufacture than analysts had thought, climate action prevails at two shareholder meetings,…

Carbon pricing is on the table from C to shining sea

by Seth Zuckerman on May 15, 2017

Tesla starts taking orders for solar roofing, Green Party may hold balance of power over BC fossil projects, GOP fails to reverse Obama-era methane…

Clean energy transportation makes sense, but also dollars and cents

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on April 26, 2017

Climate advocates join business leaders to celebrate a sensible expansion of subsidies for low-carbon and zero-carbon driving options.

Trump order hits climate policies; states fight back

by Seth Zuckerman on April 3, 2017

Nuclear giant Westinghouse goes bankrupt, clean energy employs over twice as many Americans as fossil fuels, cheap Midwestern wind could idle 56 GW…

How's climate progress faring in Olympia?

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on March 29, 2017

It’s no secret that climate progress is having a rough week in Washington, D.C. Here in Washington State, our governor and others have pressed for…

World economy grows, carbon pollution doesn’t

by Seth Zuckerman on March 20, 2017

Shell sells off its stake in Canadian tar sands, US solar installations in 2016 nearly double the previous year, poll shows highest-ever level of…

A little-known Washington state agency has a big job in tackling climate change

by Kelly Hall on March 6, 2017

Washington State's Utilities and Transportation Commission rarely makes headlines, but it plays a critical role in assessing the growing cost of…

The context for climate action now

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on February 3, 2017

The Washington State Legislature is talking about climate: specifically about putting a price on carbon pollution. Can we move from talk to action?…

On climate, Washington (our Washington) needs to lead

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on January 20, 2017

There's no time like the present to demand a better future. Washington folks: please contact your state legislators and tell them we need their …

Tillerson gets a grilling, knives sharpened for Pruitt

by Seth Zuckerman on January 17, 2017

US sends $500 million to Green Climate Fund, Chinese President Xi urges Trump to stand by Paris accord, hacktivists prepare offshore archive of…

Arctic oil is out, offshore wind is in, PV prices falling

by Seth Zuckerman on January 3, 2017

Hawaii to meet 100% RPS five years ahead of schedule, Democrats to target Pruitt and Tillerson in hearings, Bangladesh tests ‘swarm electrification…

Put a price on it! Inslee proposes tax on polluters

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on December 16, 2016

Governor Inslee's proposed budget, including a tax on carbon pollution, starts a necessary conversation for Washington climate progress in 2017.

Washington State's climate leadership: prospects and priorities

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on November 30, 2016

Climate action at the state and local level has never been more important than now.

Trump’s election reshapes landscape of climate action

by Seth Zuckerman on November 14, 2016

Marrakech delegates reckon with a Trump presidency, Monterey County bans fracking, children’s public-trust climate lawsuit moves forward, and more…

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