SAN FRANCISCO – In the latest of several climate agreements among Pacific Coast governments, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia signed a new partnership Thursday recommitting the region to climate action.
The Statement of Cooperation (SOC) promotes collaboration between the four regional governments on accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy, investing in climate infrastructure like EV charging stations and a clean electric grid, and protecting communities from climate impacts like drought, wildfire, heat waves and sea-level changes. The SOC includes a major focus on equity, ensuring no communities are left behind in the transition to a low-carbon future.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed hosted California Governor Gavin Newsom, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and British Columbia Premier John Horgan as they signed the Pacific Coast Collaborative Statement of Cooperation at the Presidio Tunnel Tops in San Francisco. The project, which opened earlier this year, is a model for building climate resiliency in urban areas, providing equitable access to green spaces.
Leaders of the four jurisdictions, each with their own ambitious climate agendas, came together to continue to strengthen regional approaches and connections – to help move essential climate work further and faster.
“This new agreement reaffirms our commitments to decarbonize our economies at a time when the consequences of victory or defeat in this effort have never been more acute. Our partnerships speak to just how diverse and interconnected the green energy economy has already become. We know where it goes from here – onward to a cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient energy economy that averts climate calamity at the same time. Together we will invest in an equitable transition to a cleaner future, build the climate infrastructure we need, and protect our communities from climate-driven wildfires, droughts, heat and flooding,” said Gov. Inslee.
“In California, we punch above our weight when it comes to climate action – but our actions can only do so much without the rest of the world at our side. The Pacific Coast is raising the bar for tackling the climate crisis while also ensuring every community is included in our efforts. The West will continue to lead the way toward a carbon-free future that supports our economy, our people and our planet,” said Gov. Newsom.
“The West Coast is united as we lead the way towards a clean energy future that helps our entire region and economies to thrive. In Oregon, we have set ambitious goals to reach 100% clean energy sources, reduce carbon emissions, and comprehensively address climate change,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “We are committed to addressing the impacts of climate change while also meeting the needs of our most vulnerable communities. Together, we are showing that it is possible to address climate change and create good-paying jobs at the same time, as we move towards a stronger, cleaner, equitable future,” said Gov. Brown.
“Here on the Pacific coast of North America, we’ve been on the frontlines of the climate crisis – both experiencing its most devastating impacts and leading the world in developing solutions to reduce carbon pollution. By signing this statement of cooperation, we’re building on our strengths as leaders in climate action and positioning ourselves for success in a clean energy economy. Working together, we’re charting a path to a cleaner, stronger future with good jobs and opportunities – for people on both sides of the border,” said Premier Horgan.
The agreement signed today includes the following commitments:
- Support an equitable and just transition to a low carbon and climate resilient future, emphasizing investments in overburdened communities.
- Invest in climate infrastructure, such as EV charging stations, green ports, and a clean and reliable electric grid across the region.
- Protect communities and natural and working lands from wildfire, drought, heat waves, ocean acidification and flooding.
The Pacific Coast of North America represents a thriving region of 57 million people with a combined GDP of $3.5 trillion. Through the Pacific Coast Collaborative, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and the cities of Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles are working together to build the low carbon economy of the future. We share ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 80 percent by 2050. Watch a video on the Pacific Coast Collaborative here.
In recent years, Washington has enacted ambitious climate policies for the majority of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, including standards for 100% clean electricity, clean fuels, and reducing emissions from buildings. In 2022, Washington passed the Move Ahead Washington transportation package that invests a historic $6.2 billion over the next 16 years in clean transportation, including public transit and walking and biking infrastructure, with requirements for directing spending to overburdened communities. In January, 2023 the state will launch its cap and invest program for capping and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the economy and investing in an equitable transition to clean energy and climate resilience.
At COP26 in Scotland, Inslee led a coalition of 69 state, regional and city governments who affirmed their urgent commitment to addressing the climate crisis by signing a range of emissions-slashing actions ahead of 2030.
Last year, Inslee and 23 governors from the bipartisan U.S. Climate Alliance committed to collectively achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050. Inslee and other Under2 Coalition partners also announced the transition to become a net zero coalition, raising ambition for member states and regions.
The clean energy and clean tech sectors continue to grow in the United States, significantly outpacing fossil energy jobs. Washington's clean energy sector continues to grow with nearly 77,000 jobs currently in that industry.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and British Columbia Premier John Horgan met Thursday in San Francisco to renew the shared commitment of the Pacific Coast Collaborative to build a low-carbon economy and work to address communities overburdened by air pollution.