With strong leadership by legislative champions, Governor Inslee, and a diverse coalition of supporters, the Legislature passed priority legislation supported by the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, the first meaningful action to address climate change in over a decade. The Alliance-supported legislation represents the most significant equitable climate and clean energy package in our state’s history:
- 100% clean energy for everyone in Washington by 2045, the strongest clean electricity law in the nation
- An overhaul of our state’s building code standards by setting energy efficiency standards and electric vehicle readiness requirements for all large commercial buildings as well as requiring natural gas utilities to become more energy efficient
- Funding for a state task force to address environmental health disparities caused by pollution
- Over $60 million in the state budget for clean energy, low-income housing weatherization, and new affordable housing energy efficiency investments
- Made sure big oil pays their fair share under the Model Toxics Control Act to clean up toxic sites, reduce pollution, and support communities
By bringing together unlikely allies including labor unions, environmental groups, communities of color, clean energy advocates, health professionals, faith communities, and legislative allies, these bills to reduce climate pollution are among the strongest in the nation and tie together key labor standards, protections for people with lower incomes, and investments in equitable climate solutions for generations to come.
“These advances are significant milestones in addressing climate justice, setting us on a promising path forward,” said Aiko Schaefer, Director of Front and Centered and Co-Chair of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. “Together, we’re moving towards a just transition that includes clean energy, healthy environments and dignified work for all.”
Washingtonians want a healthy place for our families to live, a safe future for our kids, and an economy that supports local workers and family wage jobs. To get there, we need a just transition to clean energy for working families and recognition that the health impacts of pollution have been disproportionately felt by people of color and communities with lower incomes.
“This year’s victories are a testament to the power of partnership. The road may be long but when we stick to our values, stand together, and never give up, we win,” said Becky Kelley, President of the Washington Environmental Council and Co-Chair of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. “We know this is only the beginning and we are in it for the long-haul. We will continue fighting for a just and equitable clean energy future, together.”
We are proud that Washington is now leading the fight for an equitable and just clean energy transition.
“The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is proud to be a part of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, and proud that we have worked together to achieve good, equitable environmental policy that is also good labor policy,” said Washington State Labor Council President Larry Brown. “Building a 21st Century clean energy economy with family-wage union jobs is a priority for us and for our community partners. We are making great progress and we intend to keep working together until we achieve that goal.”
But Washington isn’t done fighting against climate pollution.
“Together, we’ll continue the long fight to realize environmental and climate justice, strengthened by the knowledge and leadership of frontline communities most disproportionately impacted by climate and environmental change,” said Schaefer.