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Climate Change

Reducing carbon pollution

Washington State is addressing the challenge of climate change by taking responsible and thoughtful actions. The State has developed practical and coordinated set of policies and solutions to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reductions adopted into law in 2008, and to unleash innovation, investment and job creation. Many of these actions are being implemented. 

Executive Orders

Executive Order 14-04 - On April 29, 2014, Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order outlining a series of steps to cut carbon pollution in Washington and advance development and use of clean energy technologies. (Also see the Governor's Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce (CERT))

Executive Order 09-05 - On May 21, 2009, Gov. Chris Gregoire directed implementation of state actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase transportation and fuel-conservation options for Washington residents, and protect our state’s water supplies and vulnerable coastal areas.

Clean Air Rule

Gov. Jay Inslee directed Ecology to strengthen the state’s pollution laws and develop a regulatory cap on carbon emissions. The Clean Air Rule which started in 2017 will significantly reduce carbon pollution in Washington.

Measuring and reporting carbon pollution

Washington has a number of programs designed to help us better understand the sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. These programs help the state design policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and track our progress towards meeting the state's legal greenhouse gas reduction limits.

Clean Power Plan

The EPA set the first ever carbon pollution limits for the nation's existing power plants in August 2015. Ecology's Air Quality program is leading development of Washington's plan to meet the state's goals of reducing carbon pollution from power plants.

SEPA and climate change

The Washington Department of Ecology has prepared a draft working paper for lead agencies for use when evaluating proposals under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) that will result in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and/or may be vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

State Agency Climate Leadership

In 2009, the Washington State Legislature approved the State Agency Climate Leadership Act E2SSB 5560, which established greenhouse gas emissions reduction limits for state agencies in law (RCW 70.235.050 and RCW 70.235.060) and directed state agencies to quantify GHG emissions, report on actions taken to reduce GHG emissions, and develop a strategy to meet the GHG reduction targets.