(Olympia, WA – May 17, 2021) Today Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Climate Commitment Act, a landmark cap-and-invest bill. This legislation makes Washington the state with the most ambitious enforceable limit on climate pollution in the United States, and the second state to put a binding limit across all major sectors of its economy— a powerful and essential tool to aggressively slash emissions to meet the state’s 2030, 2040 and 2050 goals. Alongside reductions in global climate pollution, the bill includes innovative measures designed to reduce local air pollution in communities that are disproportionately burdened by environmental and public health impacts. In response, Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp issued the following statement.
“Governor Inslee, who became a national spokesman for bold climate action in 2020, is showing how to put that ambition into action. This cap-and-invest law, with an enforceable limit to aggressively drive down pollution, is the most ambitious climate action anywhere in America. Any leader who wants to be known for bold climate policy needs to produce similar breakthrough results. The Climate Commitment Act sets a new gold standard for climate policy by driving deep cuts in emissions consistent with science-based targets, while providing tools to reduce health-harming, local air pollution in overburdened communities — a critically important element of the new law that helps ensure that climate progress and environmental equity go hand in hand.
“Building on previous attempts in the legislature, Governor Inslee and Washington state lawmakers have achieved a breakthrough that will meet their bold climate commitments. This landmark bill will not only help safeguard communities from the worst climate impacts, it will put Washington in a strong position to win the clean energy and manufacturing jobs of the future. Through its innovative air quality and equity measures, this bill takes crucial steps to slash local air pollution in communities who are forced to live with the unfair burden of unhealthy air every day.
“The Climate Commitment Act arrives at a critical moment of urgency and opportunity for the climate crisis. As the Biden-Harris administration charts an ambitious path to cut U.S. emissions 50-52% by 2030, state leaders will need to move from pledges to policy to help meet this collective challenge. Washington state has proved that it’s ready to run this race; now other states must speed up. Both state and federal lawmakers should pay attention to this success story in Olympia: this cap-and-invest approach can serve as a model for curbing climate pollution at the pace and scale the science demands.
“We applaud Governor Inslee and Washington state lawmakers for raising the bar for climate leadership. And we look forward to seeing other states across the country follow their lead by turning commitments into concrete policy action.”
- EDF President Fred Krupp
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