Washington state has enacted strong, science-based greenhouse gas limits, but the state has never put in place a comprehensive means for achieving them. The latest research shows that we must reduce carbon pollution more deeply and quickly than previously thought to protect the state from the worst effects of climate change.
In Washington, climate change poses severe economic and environmental threats to coastlines, water supplies, forests, farms, and communities. Residents of Washington already feel the effects of climate change — but these burdens are not distributed evenly. Vulnerable populations and overburdened communities have historically experienced disproportionate economic and health costs from pollution, extreme heat, and other climate-related stressors, and these disparities are likely to grow without aggressive action to limit the impacts of climate change.
To moderate the threat of climate change, reduce its enormous economic burden and ecosystem damage, and make the state resilient to future impacts, Washington needs a comprehensive system to cap and then predictably and equitably reduce carbon pollution to meet the greenhouse gas emission limits set by the Legislature.