GLASGOW, Scotland – A coalition of 68 state, regional and city governments led by Gov. Jay Inslee today affirmed their urgent commitment to addressing the climate crisis by signing a range of emissions-slashing actions ahead of 2030. This is part of a global call from local and regional governments in recognition of the increased impacts of climate change and their critical role in addressing it.
At a press event with other leaders today, Inslee announced an executive order to fully electrify Washington state's public fleets and transition to a 100% zero-emission light duty fleet by 2035, as well as 100% zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty state fleets by 2040.
"Together with the rest of the leaders here and those everywhere else today who are committed to this fight, we will lead the charge on decarbonizing the transportation sector," Inslee said.
Convening at COP26, governments from the Under2 Coalition, U.S. Climate Alliance and C40 acknowledged the need to move beyond lofty goals and focus on immediate actions to reach them in order to keep global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees. This means taking measures across all sectors to drive down emissions and protect biodiversity.
The range of actions announced today covers:
- Inter-governmental cooperation and planning
- Built environment
- Clean transportation
- Environmental justice
- Nature-based solutions
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to effectively mitigate climate change. The actions we take in the next five years will determine the fate of our species. I’m proud to stand with this global coalition of governors and mayors to go beyond pledges," Inslee said. "Together, we are charting a path to make tangible, meaningful progress to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and get to net-zero by 2050. Now is the time for leaders to buckle down and get it done.”
Among today’s commitments are pledges to require 100% of new car sales be zero-emission vehicles beginning 2035 and 100% zero-carbon energy by 2045, as well as ensuring 100% net zero operating emissions from new building construction from 2030. Other commitments include conserving at least 30% of land and coastal waters by 2030 and ensuring that at least 40% of expenditures benefit overburdened communities and vulnerable populations.
A recent United Nations report showed that with current emissions projections, the world should be prepared for a temperature rise of about 2.7°C by the end of the century. The consequences of this rise would be catastrophic, and again underline the need for short-term – as well as long term – commitments. Although today’s pledges are an important step, it is clear that more needs to be done at all levels to ensure genuine progress on climate change.