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Climate Change

Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

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.

2010 Comprehensive Plan

In 2008, the Washington State Legislature approved the Climate Change Framework codified in Chapter 70.235, Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which established state greenhouse gas emissions reduction limits in law, RCW 70.235.020, and directed Ecology to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce the state’s greenhouse emissions. Ecology has published the second edition of that plan in 2010 (the first edition was published in 2008).
> See more about 2010 Comprehensive Plan.

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.

Growth Management Act (GMA)

In 2008, the Legislature enacted Senate Bill 6580 (now expired) to address mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions through land use and transportation planning processes under the Growth Management Act (GMA) The legislature recognized that it is in the public interest to reduce the state’s dependence upon foreign oil; and that the state, including cities, counties, and residents, must engage in activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and dependence on foreign oil.
> See more about the Growth Management Act.

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.
> See more about SEPA and 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.
> See more about State Agency Climate Leadership.