Other states and some countries are watching a Washington ballot measure that could require a fee be paid for the production of carbon pollution, Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday.
During a telephonic news conference from San Francisco where he’s attending the Global Climate Action Summit, Inslee said Initiative 1631 is important for meeting the state’s carbon reduction goals and creating jobs in clean energy.
The initiative, on the state’s November ballot, also “has a lot of hope for its passing, outside state borders,” he said.
Washington has joined 16 other states and some cities in the U.S. Climate Alliance, pledging to meet the goals for lower pollution set in the Paris Accords, even though the United States has formally withdrawn from that agreement. The alliance represents about 40 percent of the U.S. economy, Inslee said, and other states could join after this November’s elections.
No other country has pulled out of the accords since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out, Inslee said, calling that a “stunning indictment” of Trump’s decision.
Inslee signed an agreement with the United Kingdom during the summit to work toward developing zero-emission vehicles.
The state has increased the purchase of electric vehicles for its fleet, and half of all cars it buys will be electric next year, he said. It encourages “carbon-smart buildings” and new state buildings are designed to add electric charging stations.
Washington is also part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative to fight climate change, he said, and an international alliance with 45 other governments to reduce ocean acidification, which is rising as a result of increased carbon in the atmosphere.
Warmer water and increased acidity in the oceans changes the whole food chain, and people who were upset about recent stories of sick and dying orcas in Puget Sound should “get on board” with efforts to cut carbon pollution, Inslee said.
“No chinook, no orcas,” he said. “No beating climate change, no chinook.”
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