Climate change is here. NASA reports the last seven years have been the warmest on record , with 2020 tying 2016 for the hottest year on record.
Warming temperatures and severe weather events are creating enormous economic, health and cultural burdens on communities across the world and Washington state. Research confirms these burdens are borne disproportionately by people in lower-income communities, communities of color, and Indigenous peoples.
However, the climate crisis presents an opportunity to create good-paying jobs while rapidly deploying clean energy and ensuring every American can breathe clean air and drink clean water.
Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made climate change and clean energy a focus of his work for more than 30 years, will host a virtual town hall on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 5:30 PM (PST). He’s invited former Vice President Al Gore and White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy for a panel discussion and Q&A about efforts to combat climate change and transition equitably to a low-carbon, clean energy economy.
The public can register to participate via Zoom or watch the event live.
The leaders will discuss an array of topics including:
- Is it possible to beat the clock? Scientists warn our planet is on track to warm by 4 degrees Celsius before 2100, but we need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
- What is the role of the United States and individual states for fighting climate change?
- What’s in it for us? What are the rewards for transitioning to a low-carbon, clean energy economy?
Momentum for climate action continues to grow in Washington state
In Washington state, the 2021 heat wave was the deadliest on record, leading to more than 100 deaths. Sea levels are rising in coastal towns such as Friday Harbor and forcing communities such as the Quinault Indian Nation to relocate to higher ground. Droughts and heat waves are hurting Washington’s agricultural growers and their workers.
As governor, Inslee has supported and passed nation-leading climate initiatives including several bills in 2019 to advance Washington state’s transition to 100% clean energy, clean buildings, and cleaner transportation. The Legislature in 2021 passed several landmark measures to a cap and invest program to reduce climate pollution across the economy, a clean fuels standard, and laws to reduce single-use plastics and put environmental justice at the forefront of Washington’s strategic plans.
Inslee has proposed several bills to advance climate action as part of his 2022 climate package, including measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and to ensure that Washington can site and build clean energy and technology here at home.