The Climate Commitment Act (CCA), SB5126, is one step closer to becoming the first climate legislation in the country to pave the way to net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. The Washington State Senate passed the historic and carefully crafted cap-and-invest legislation today, which now heads to the Washington State House of Representatives to continue through the process of becoming law.
Senator Reuven Carlyle introduced the bill that both puts a decreasing cap on carbon and on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while making significant investments in new infrastructure, transit, agriculture, forestry and shipbuilding projects. These investments will catalyze a resilient recovery towards a productive, low-carbon future, spurring statewide job-growth. Importantly, the Climate Commitment Act includes several provisions to prioritize historically overburdened communities, including establishment of an Environmental Justice & Equity Advisory Panel.
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 Commitment Act, saying, “Despite some notable progress in addressing climate change and ushering in a clean energy economy, carbon emissions in the state are still growing. To meet the state’s climate goals and those of the Paris Climate Accords, more needs to be done.”
“The Act is modeled after the only solution proven to ensure the state not only meets its carbon emissions goals, but also stimulates economic returns and generates substantial investments for overburdened communities,” said David Giuliani, founder of Washington Business Alliance, inventor of Sonicare, and an early backer of the legislation. “By implementing a Cap-and-Invest system, Washington will kick off a cycle that can benefit everyone across the state.”
Integrated with a transportation funding package, Senate Bill 5126 will also be the state’s largest investment in mobility and climate protection, generating billions of dollars of investments into a transition to a low-carbon economy.
Business supporters include Vulcan Inc., Vigor, Puget Sound Solar, McKinstry, MacDonald Miller Facility Solutions, Microsoft and bp America along with business associations like Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC), Tabor 100 and American Institute of Architects (AIA) Washington Council. A list of supporters can be found here.
Additional information on the bill, supporters and other updates can be found at Clean & Prosperous Washington as well as this DropBox Link.