The moment has finally come
Today Governor Jay Inslee will sign the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) – SB 5126 – positioning Washington state as a national climate leader by passing the first climate legislation to pave the way to net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.
Integrated with a transportation funding package, the Climate Commitment Act will be the state’s largest investment in climate protection, while also generating billions of dollars of investments towards the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“The Climate Commitment Act took remarkable work, with Senator Carlyle and Representative Fitzgibbon each indefatigable in engaging other legislators and stakeholders for several years leading up to today’s signing,” said David Giuliani, founder of Washington Business Alliance, inventor of Sonicare, and an early backer of the legislation. “Through grassroots efforts we were able to bring together business leaders, environmentalists, tribes, social justice advocates, energy companies, and labor in support of this historic legislation.”
Improving on California’s cap-and-trade model to form a Cap & Invest system, bill sponsor Senator Reuven Carlyle worked closely with House Environment Committee Chair Representative Joe Fitzgibbon to ensure the legislation would put both a decreasing cap on carbon and on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while making significant investments in new infrastructure, transit, agriculture, forestry, and shipbuilding projects.
Importantly, the Climate Commitment Act also includes several provisions to prioritize historically overburdened communities, including establishment of an Environmental Justice Council and a provision to ensure health disparities reduce over time.
“We simply can’t wait another 30 years so that your children and mine can struggle with the impacts of climate change,” noted Paula Sardinas of the Washington Build Back Black Alliance. By passing the Climate Commitment Act, “we are showing our kids we care about their future.”
The passage of this bill wouldn’t have been possible without the diverse group of supporters, including business leaders, social justice and equity advocates, environmental groups, labor unions, local employers, energy companies and more that came together with Clean & Prosperous Washington to voice how crucial it was for our state to take climate action this session by passing the Climate Commitment Act.
“We applaud all those who rose to produce the Climate Commitment Act, which will lead Washington and perhaps America to a cleaner and more prosperous future,” added Giuliani.
In acknowledgment of the leadership of Governor Inslee, Senator Carlyle and Representative Fitzgibbon, for making the Climate Commitment Act and the Clean Fuel Standard a reality in Washington state, the group launched an ad campaign, listing many of the supporters. It can be found here.
Business supporters include Puget Sound Solar, McKinstry, MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, bp America and Shell, along with business associations like Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC), Tabor 100 and more. A more complete list of supporters can be found here.