While attending COP21 in Paris, Gov. Jay Inslee signed on to several agreements in an effort to boost global cooperation on climate action and strengthen Washington’s commitment to be part of global action on climate.
“This is an opportunity to renew our commitment to fighting carbon pollution and work across borders to find creative solutions to climate action,” Inslee said. “Washington is not alone when we act on climate, and these partnerships are a way to forge ahead, share best practices and collaborate on policy that works on a local scale to effect global change.”
Earlier this year, Inslee and other government leaders made a commitment to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80-95 percent when they signed the Under 2 MOU, a major subnational agreement with 65 jurisdictions around the world.
Inslee yesterday joined Under 2 MOU signatories at a reception where he announced his new initiative to accelerate adoption of zero emission electric vehicles in public and private fleets, a key step towards meeting his state's Results Washington goal of putting 50,000 EVs on the road by 2020. The target of Inslee’s initiative is to ensure at least 20 percent of all new state passenger vehicle purchases are electric vehicles by 2017. Inslee took this action to help fleets scale up their use of electric vehicles, to 'double-down' on the 10 percent EV fleet target established in 2013 by the Pacific Coast Collaborative and to jump start the world's necessary commitment to zero emission vehicles.
This joint public-private fleet procurement of electric vehicles will leverage government procurement power, save taxpayer dollars over time due to lower life-cycle costs and help accelerate electric vehicle awareness and adoption throughout Washington state and beyond. Washington state is currently a national leader in per capita EV market share with more than 3 EVs for every 1,000 registered vehicles.
Inslee today also signed new compacts with states and nations.
Washington state joined as a signatory on the Compact of States & Regions, a compact that complements the Under 2 effort by providing mechanisms for members to report and track progress in a uniform way. Regions and states involved in the compact commit to reducing GHG emissions and sharing their emission reduction progress. The members of the compact represent 12.5 percent of the global economy and more than 325 million people worldwide.
Inslee also signed climate agreements with France and Chile.
The joint declaration with France promotes cooperation on ambitious responses to climate change and natural resource issues including development of market-based instruments that encourage low carbon technologies, reducing emissions from forest degradation, promoting renewable energy, and advancing multilateral and subnational action on climate change.
The memorandum of understanding with Chile focuses on the jurisdiction’s joint interests in sustainable development, renewable energy technologies and GHG emission reductions.
Inslee today also joined other members of the Pacific Coast Collaborative as well as mayors and governors from around the world for a panel on how to drive a more competitive low carbon economy in Pacific coastal states and cities. The PCC makes up the world’s fifth largest economy with 53 million people and a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion.
While in Paris Inslee is also talking about Washington’s efforts in battery and smart grid technology. Washington is among the top five states for energy storage opportunities with leading edge smart grid and energy storage projects underway through Avista, Puget Sound Energy and Snohomish PUD. He is highlighting Washington’s carbon fiber manufacturing success and efforts to ensure all new building are energy-neutral by 2030 by using aggressive energy codes and other measures.
“While national leaders continue to work on broad and necessary measures to curb global emissions, cities, states and regional partners have been building momentum together for climate action,” Inslee said. “We’re at the forefront of driving innovation in clean technology, electrification of our transportation systems and efficiencies in our homes and offices. Washington state is at the leading edge of this technological revolution.”