Climate Commitment Act

History

History

The Climate Commitment Act stands as a remarkable example of effective state-level policy aimed at mitigating climate pollution and fostering a fair and sustainable future.

Back in 2021, Washington State took a pioneering step by passing the Climate Commitment Act (CCA), a groundbreaking cap-and-invest legislation. This forward-looking law places a gradual limit on climate-warming emissions and allocates resources to implement solutions that promote equity, prosperity, and resilience across the state. Working hand-in-hand with other robust state policies, the CCA is projected to achieve an impressive 95% reduction in emissions by 2050. Moreover, it fosters stronger consultations with tribal nations, enhances air quality and environmental justice, bolsters climate-focused initiatives, and bolsters the state’s economy.

The journey toward passing the CCA holds valuable insights that can be adapted by other states seeking to address climate change. Prior to this achievement, numerous attempts to implement carbon pricing had faltered over the course of more than a decade. However, the CCA triumphed with the collective backing of a diverse coalition of stakeholders, representing a broad spectrum of interests within the state. This inclusive collaboration ensured that the law not only met science-based emission reduction targets but also brought about positive co-benefits for Washington’s environment, businesses, and marginalized communities.

Bipartisan Roots & State Leadership

Cap-and-Trade was first deployed by the George H. W. Bush administration to successfully – and efficiently – combat acid rain. 

Charles Tasnadi / AP Images

 Could it work as well on the climate crisis?

California was the first state to put Cap-and-Trade to work on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. Results there show targets achieved ahead of schedule, with a healthy economy.

Now, just as we in Washington state followed California’s lead but improved upon their program, we anticipate other states will follow our lead. Already, the state of New York is beginning the process of implementing a similar Cap-and-Invest system. California is considering improvements to their system by referencing Washington’s CCA.

Let’s play “The Price is Right”

Let’s play “The Price is Right”

One thing we can all agree on is that carbon emissions impose a cost beyond the smokestack. Air pollution from carbon emissions leads to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, asthma, and premature mortality. The health costs of air...

Dollars & sense

Dollars & sense

Thanks to the Climate Commitment Act, it’s no longer free to pollute in Washington state. But was it ever? As they say, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. Everything has a price, and that price must be paid by someone. Historically we’ve paid...

Advancing policy solutions to power a clean economy

Advancing policy solutions to power a clean economy

At the top of our homepage, it says “Advancing policy solutions to power a clean economy”. Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee signed three policy solutions passed by the legislature that will help power a clean economy. We especially want to thank...

How to win the future

How to win the future

Not long before his passing, our founder, David Giuliani, shared an excellent essay by Tomas Pueyo subtitled, How to Predict the Future and Make the Most of It. As a serial entrepreneur, David was adept at seeing the future and getting out front to...

Track your investments

Track your investments

Revenues raised from Washington’s cap-and-invest Climate Commitment Act (CCA) are invested in projects and programs that benefit communities across the state. These are investments that will pay dividends to you in the form of lower costs for...

Take the wheel

Take the wheel

Or rather, the mouse. Or the track pad…  Instead of asking you to read another newsletter about climate change and clean energy, we'd like to put you in the driver’s seat to explore three interactive tools that are both fascinating and useful:...

Flames atop the Space Needle

Flames atop the Space Needle

Did you know? During the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle had a 40-foot-tall natural-gas-powered “torch” burning on the mast at the top.  The Space Needle, early 1962. Note the flames coming from the antenna; the Needle was equipped with natural...

I-2117 would take Washington backward

I-2117 would take Washington backward

Today, Initiative 2117, which seeks to repeal the Climate Commitment Act (CCA), crossed a hurdle in its race to turn back the clock on climate policy. It qualified as an initiative to the Legislature and will most likely be on the ballot in...

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun

Having passed the winter solstice, we can sing along with George Harrison and celebrate that the sun will be with us a bit longer each day going forward. And now that… Solar energy is the cheapest option for new electric generation almost...

“The future ain’t what it used to be”

“The future ain’t what it used to be”

Yogi Berra was right. “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Though he may have been thinking about baseball, he could very well have been referring to clean energy. On the same day that the world committed to transition away from fossil fuels at...

Don’t put the brakes on our clean economy

Don’t put the brakes on our clean economy

On the same day the United Nations warned that global greenhouse gasses are the highest ever recorded, opponents of Washington’s Climate Commitment Act have taken another step in their effort to fossilize the status quo and repeal the CCA. Governor...

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