When faced with moments of global crisis— whether it’s climate change or the current COVID-19 pandemic — it’s crucial that we stand together as a society. Now is not the time for xenophobia, or blame, but rather a sense of unity and solidarity as we look out for each other and protect our most vulnerable.
In a public-health crisis like COVID-19, working people are on the front-lines of the response, including our healthcare workers, school custodians, flight attendants, and grocery store workers. Our efforts to tackle these crises must prioritize the health and safety of our communities and working people, implementing public interventions that lift up those who are most impacted and are rooted in racial and economic justice.
The Climate Alliance is working in solidarity with our labor union partners and community of color based organizations to share resources, capacity, and amplify their work to protect our most vulnerable populations. We will keep our supporters up-to-date with solidarity calls to action!
2020 Legislative Session Wrap up
Last week marked the end of the 2020 legislative session. Each of our partners and volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the session to make sure we made progress towards climate justice. Below are updates on each of the Climate Alliance’s legislative priorities this session:
Climate Pollution Limits
We are excited that Climate Pollution Limits passed this session and will update the state’s greenhouse gas limits to reflect current science and investing in nature-based solutions! Setting strong climate pollution limits is essential to ensure we are setting accurate benchmarks for future bold climate policy.
Transportation for All
Our Transportation for All bill which would have required new transportation investments and any transportation funding cuts to meet health, equity and environment metrics and goals did not pass in full this session. However, we did get a budget proviso for the bill which directs WSDOT to pick two transportation projects to evaluate based on current transportation policy goals and the themes of health, accessibility, environmental justice, equity, and climate change. This is a huge success and shows how our coalition in a short period of time, helped change the conversation around how we need to equitably and sustainability invest in transportation in Washington state.
Buy Clean, Buy Fair
The Buy Clean, Buy Fair bill would have directed state agencies to consider suppliers’ greenhouse gas emissions and labor standards when purchasing structural materials for publicly-funded infrastructure projects. While the Buy Clean, Buy Fair did not pass this session, we made great progress in growing the understanding of the need to account carbon emissions and labor standards when purchasing structural materials for publicly-funded infrastructure and we are leading the conversation around public procurement nationally!
Healthy Forests & Wildfire Preparedness
The Healthy Forests & Wildfire Preparedness bill would have raised roughly $125M in new revenue per biennium to implement Washington’s 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan, restoring the health and resilience of 1.25 million acres of forest ensuring cleaner air, safer firefighters and communities, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and increased ability of forests to sequester carbon. While the Healthy Forests & Wildfire Preparedness bill did not pass this session, supporters of the bill are considering whether to run a state-wide ballot measure this fall.
Despite winning strong climate pollution limits this session, the state legislature failed to pass essential bills to mitigate the climate crisis. The update of the state’s greenhouse gas limits will only work if we have the right climate policy tools to be able to achieve them.
Washingtonians across the state have made it clear: we want equitable climate action now. The public overwhelmingly supports bold action to address the climate crisis, and we can’t afford to delay. That’s why Climate Alliance partners will work hard for the rest of the year to build bold climate policies for the 2021 session and make sure we are holding our elected officials accountable to take bold action on climate!