Department of Ecology News Release - March 28, 2023

First cap-and-invest auction raised $299 million for climate response

Mt. Rainier


The Washington Department of Ecology confirmed that a total of $299,983,267 was raised through the sale of carbon allowances at the state’s first cap-and-invest auction, held on Feb. 28. Now that financial transactions for successful bids have settled and funds have been deposited in the state treasury, Ecology confirmed the total revenue in a Public Proceeds Report, posted to its website at noon today, March 28.

The results of the auction were released earlier this month in an Auction Summary Report. All 6,185,222 available allowances were sold at a final settlement price of $48.50. The report, which is posted to Ecology’s Auctions and Trading webpage, also included other information about market security and eligible participants.

The revenue raised is subject to appropriation by the Legislature, and will be used to fund critical climate projects focused on clean transportation, clean energy, climate resiliency, and environmental justice initiatives.

The cap-and-invest program is a key component of Washington’s efforts to combat the climate crisis. Under the program, the state’s largest emitters are required to obtain allowances – in part, through participating in auctions like the one held in February – to cover their greenhouse gas emissions each year. Over time, the number of available allowances will decrease, incentivizing businesses to reduce their carbon output to minimize compliance costs.

More information about how auction funding will be used is available on Ecology’s Auction Proceeds webpage. The webpage includes detailed information about the different accounts established by law to house auction funding, and the specific climate goals each is designed to address.

Contact information

Claire Boyte-White
Cap-and-Invest Policy Relations