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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  WA Government

Inslee leaves for Glasgow to attend climate conference

Gov. Jay Inslee signs the first bill, SB 1050 of the Climate priorities package, HB 1050, SB 5126 and HB 1091 at Shoreline Community College, Monday, May 17, 2021, with supporters surrounding him. Inslee will travel to Glasgow next week to attend the United Nations Climate Conference.  (Steve Ringman/Seattle Times)
Gov. Jay Inslee signs the first bill, SB 1050 of the Climate priorities package, HB 1050, SB 5126 and HB 1091 at Shoreline Community College, Monday, May 17, 2021, with supporters surrounding him. Inslee will travel to Glasgow next week to attend the United Nations Climate Conference. (Steve Ringman/Seattle Times)

Gov. Jay Inslee is in Glasgow the next week to participate in the United Nations Climate Conference.

The two-week conference brings leaders from across the world together to discuss and take action on climate policy. Inslee attended the 2015 U.N. climate conference in Paris.

While there, he will meet with governors and mayors about local commitments to fighting climate change. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also attended the conference this week.

“Whatever Congress produces, we have to do more, faster – and it’s up to the states to do that. We will not be able to move as fast as we have to go without state action,” Inslee said in a statement.

The first week at the conference brought the biggest names, including President Joe Biden and other world leaders, together to work on climate policy and commitments. The world leaders have since left Glasgow, leaving room for other government officials to determine the details of the climate agreement, according to the Associated Press.

Inslee has made climate change policy a top priority in Washington and ran for president on the issue in 2019.

He pushed the Legislature last session to pass two of his biggest climate policies – cap and trade and low carbon fuel standard.

Under the new laws, fuel companies must start reducing their emissions a little each year in order to hit a statewide goal of emissions 20% below 2017 levels by 2038. Fuel companies that can’t clean up their fuels by producing biofuels or mixed fuels would be required to purchase “credits” to make up for emissions that go above the allowed amount.

Washington follow California and Oregon in implementing a clean-fuel standard.

The cap-and-trade plan similarly puts a cap on carbon pollution and greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2023. The largest polluters in the state would need to clean up their work or purchase allowances from the state, if they do not meet the cap. The revenue from the allowances would go to the state to spend on communities disproportionately affected by climate change, such as people of color and low-income residents .

While Inslee is gone, Lt. Gov. Denny Heck will be acting governor.

Laurel Demkovich's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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