Historic Climate Bill Passes Washington State Legislature

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SEATTLE, April 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Climate Commitment Act (CCA), SB 5126, was passed by the Washington State Legislature today, the first climate legislation in the country to pave the way to net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.  The historic and carefully crafted cap-and-invest legislation is now on its way to Governor Jay Inslee to be signed into law. 

Bill Sponsor Senator Reuven Carlyle and House Environment Committee Chair Representative Joe Fitzgibbon worked closely with members of both houses 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. The bill puts a hard cap on carbon emissions and lowers that cap year by year.

“This remarkable outcome could not have been achieved without the steadfast leadership of Senator Carlyle, Representative Fitzgibbon, and a host of elected officials and other climate champions,” said David Giuliani, co-founder of Washington Business Alliance, Sonicare inventor, and entrepreneur. “Years of passionate advocacy and alliance building enabled this moment, which has eluded Olympia over the last decade.”

Sally Jewell, Former US Secretary of the Interior joined the many voices supporting this legislation saying, “To protect our valuable natural resources, our mountain snowpack and our oceans, we need climate action now.  The Climate Commitment Act puts Washington squarely in a leadership role in combating climate change and protecting the natural places we all love.” 

Importantly, the Climate Commitment Act includes several provisions to prioritize historically overburdened communities, including establishment of an Environmental Justice Council.

“The impacts of climate change will not be borne equally or fairly, between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations,” noted Paula Sardinas of the Washington Build Back Black Alliance.  By passing SB 5126, she told legislators, “we are going to leave our children a far better planet than the one we all inherited.”

In March, a diverse group of supporters, including business leaders, social justice and equity advocates, environmental groups, labor unions, local employers, energy companies and more joined together to call on the Washington State Legislature to pass the Climate