Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and UK Minister Gregory Barker of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) met today in London to discuss the results of collaborative efforts between their two offices on climate action and to sign a “phase two” agreement continuing their joint work.
Both the UK and Washington state are undertaking bold initiatives to significantly reduce carbon emissions. The UK is working to decarbonize its electricity sector by 2050 as part of a larger effort to meet ambitious emissions reduction targets. Washington state, which is also working to meet legally-mandated carbon emission limits, is implementing ambitious renewable energy portfolio standards that have helped spur billions of dollars in economic activity in clean energy technology. Inslee has also issued an executive order calling for an end to coal-fired electricity, design and implementation of a market-based carbon pollution reduction program, smart grid innovation, and more.
Greg Barker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, said: “The UK and US believe that a market-driven approach is crucial to tackling climate change. It’s good to see our experience in developing market mechanisms to drive cost-effective reductions and low carbon investment is supporting Governor Inslee’s ambitions. More cooperation of this kind can only be a good thing for the UK and the rest of the world in our concerted fight to contain climate change.”
Last September Inslee and Barker met in Seattle, Washington where they signed a joint declaration establishing a formal collaboration between the UK and Washington state on market-based solutions to climate change.
Since then, the DECC and Washington have held joint discussions to exchange information, compare policies and programs, and share lessons learned on a range of actions including carbon emissions trading, clean technology investment, building energy efficiency, clean transportation, effects of climate change on the insurance industry and risks to infrastructure, and on development of advanced energy storage systems.
The collaboration report presented to Inslee and Barker today outlines a series of proposed next steps that will help inform and support low-carbon initiatives underway in the UK and Washington state. The new “phase two” agreement will extend discussions between the two governments with a focus on sharing information related to carbon markets, clean technology investment strategies, clean fuels and biofuels.
“There’s no doubt that this has been an extremely productive partnership,” Inslee said. “These are big challenges but also big opportunities. When it comes to climate action, we don’t need to go it alone. Working with other government leaders who are committed to reducing carbon pollution will help us develop smart, effective strategies and I look forward to continuing our work with Minister Barker and his team.”