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Moving Washington State toward zero carbon emissions

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Summer Update

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CarbonWA’s Sustainable Farm Campaign is Growing & Hiring!

If you were following along last winter and spring, you might have seen the we were busy supporting and influencing a myriad of climate bills including SB 5947, a sustainable farming bill. CarbonWA helped construct SB 5947 and spearheaded the campaign for its passage. With bipartisan support, led by Senators McCoy (D) and Schoesler (R), testimony from many in the farming community, and a well designed bill, it sailed through the Senate in just 17 days. However, after passing the Senate the bill stalled in the House when Democrats and committee Chair Brian Blake declined to advance the bill (in part due to concerns raised by the Farm Bureau and the Potato Commission). Much hay has been made over potential ties between the Farm Bureau and the fossil fuel industry in recent research, which may have been a factor.

To get the bill over the finish line, we are launching an interim campaign designed to cultivate and grow interest among farmers and rural communities, while collecting input to strengthen and improve the bill for 2020’s legislative session. We are also hiring a campaign manager to spearhead our work to build support and awareness in the farming community. (Thanks to all whose donations have made this possible.) You can help by:

1) Sharing the job description with potential candidates who have political experience and farming ties.

2) Making a donation (click here) to our sustainable farms effort.

3) Connecting us with farmers who may want to provide input, learn more, or support this campaign (send inquiries to info@carbonwa.org).

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Carbon Washington Hiring Sustainable Farms Campaign Manager

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In Washington State, rural communities are often the hardest hit by climate change impacts like wildfire, flooding, drought, pests, and other harms to natural resources. Rural economies can also potentially benefit from climate change solutions that create market-based systems to reward practices that sequester carbon in the soil and reduce carbon pollution. This potential has been neglected by many groups that focus on climate change.

Agriculture accounts for roughly 7% of Washington’s direct greenhouse gas emissions. However, farmers can adopt proven technologies and practices that completely offset those emissions and more, by sequestering carbon in soil and forest while producing valuable economic outputs in food, feed and materials.  The 2019 Washington State Legislature explored the creation of a grant program, spearheaded in part by Carbon Washington, to fund agricultural practices that reduce climate pollution and sequester more carbon in trees and soil. That program generated bipartisan sponsorship and broad interest. 

The sustainable farms campaign will harness the potential to advance sustainable agriculture practices to increase their usage and create momentum for statewide policy action to encourage sustainable farming while exploring interest in similar policies for forested landscapes.

The sustainable farming campaign manager will oversee and execute a statewide campaign of outreach, education and advocacy on behalf of sustainable farming practices.

Read the job description.

2019 Climate Wins and Losses

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2019 has far and away been the most productive year for legislative climate action in Washington State. Numerous important bills became law. However, ample work remains. While the legislature took meaningful steps on HFC’s, electricity, and buildings, lawmakers failed to sufficiently address transportation emissions, agriculture, and industry this year. Take a look at a partial breakdown of climate bills that passed and didn’t below. Be sure to also check out the latest Carboncast, a podcast discussing the legislative session with CarbonWA’s Greg Rock. CarbonWA was also quoted in E&E News, calling the session a “turning point” but only if “we do more every year after this.”

Bill Summary Outcome
SB 5116 Mandating 100% carbon free electricity by 2045, with carbon neutral electricity by 2030. Passed
HB 1112 Phasing out Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s) Passed
HB 1257 Increasing building efficiency standards Passed
HB 1444 Adds or increases appliance efficiency standards Passed
SMJ 8005 Biochar memorial Passed
HB 2042 Extends electric vehicle incentives. Passed
HB 1512 Allows utilities to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure Passed

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Here are 56 ways you can get involved (from The Stranger)

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Here's a bit of #MondayMotivation from Baltimore!

"The words “city” and “forest” don’t usually go together. But urban forests can bring striking benefits, from lower crime rates to higher home values."

#UrbanForests #ClimateChangeMitigation #GreenCity

How Baltimore is saving urban forests – and its city

Concerns about climate change and urbanization spur cities to plant and preserve trees. How Baltimore became a green model.

www.csmonitor.com

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What People Are Saying About Reducing Carbon Pollution

“I’m a Republican. I believe that the greenhouse effect is real, that CO2 emissions generated by man is creating our greenhouse gas effect that traps heat, and the planet is warming. A price on carbon — that’s the way to go in my view.”

Lindsey Graham, United States Senator, R-SC

A carbon tax is a good starting point for working toward eventual state and federal agreements that put a price on carbon emissions. If national elder statesmen in the Republican Party can take this idea seriously, so should other Republicans in our statehouse and in Congress. The same goes for Democrats.

The Olympian

"Climate change is the biggest market failure of our time. If the United States is to continue to lead and innovate, we must move away from fossil fuels and focus on developing clean, inexpensive, renewable energy sources. A price on carbon is the best policy to promote this change."

Jim McDermott, Former U.S. Representative (D-WA 7th District)

Scientists and economists agree that the most effective way to free ourselves from fossil fuels is to stop the free lunch for polluters.

Sightline Institute

"Only when 'the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations,’ [Pope Benedict XVI] can those actions be considered ethical."

Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter “Laudato si”

The optimal solution is a carbon tax (offset by equivalent tax cuts elsewhere) — the most efficient and market-friendly way to address the negative externalities of energy use. But that approach is highly transparent and less susceptible to manipulation by special-interest lobbying than complicated regulatory schemes. No wonder it never gets any traction.

Richmond Times-Dispatch

“I think that climate change is real. I think that one of the great tragedies of our lives is the Great Barrier Reef dying [and] the environmental consequences of that."

John McCain, The late United States Senator (R-Arizona)

It is time for more of our elected leaders to join [Governor] Inslee, [and Senators] Carlyle and Palumbo in giving this major issue the attention and care it deserves.

Seattle Times Editorial, Feb. 5, 2018

"If national governments won't take action, your community can . . . We can move our economy town-by-town, state-by-state to renewable energy and a sustainable future." (Watch this dramatic video narrated by DiCaprio.)

Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor and environmentalist

Who We Are

Carbon Washington consists of students, businesspeople, scientists, retirees, activists and concerned citizens across the state. All of us believe that we have a moral obligation to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean, renewable energy.

In 2016, we mounted a statewide campaign to pass Initiative 732 — the revenue-neutral carbon tax we proposed. Economists say carbon taxes are the single-most effective way to get polluters to stop polluting.

Although the measure didn’t pass, more than 1.25 million Washingtonians voted in favor of I-732 and it was endorsed by people and organizations across the political spectrum. In 2018, we supported Initiative 1631, another attempt to put a price on carbon that also fell short of the 50-percent mark.

Now we’re broadening our focus with a redefined vision and mission. We’re exploring legislative bills, ballot measures and other bipartisan approaches that make a meaningful difference while appealing to a broad array of citizens.

Our vision: Net zero carbon emissions and a prosperous, healthy future

Our mission: Increase demand for climate action and fight for smart carbon policies

Our goals:

Create the political will to pass smart statewide climate policy

Propose and advocate for effective carbon-reducing measures

(Download our complete vision, mission and goals in PDF form here.)

Are we effective? Former State Sen. Paul Graves says, “Reducing carbon pollution without harming jobs and families is a tough challenge. It requires thoughtfulness, a clear view of the evidence and the tradeoffs, and a willingness to work with people on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the state. I’m grateful to Carbon Washington for embodying those values.”

You can help us by signing up for our weekly email blast, connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter, and donating so we can do the hard work that needs to be done. You can also join one of our chapters across the state. 

Contact Us

Have a question? Give us a shout!

Please email info@carbonwa.org or call Carbon Washington
Executive Director Kyle Murphy at 206-480-1176.

Media inquiries only
Please email communications@carbonwa.org or call Samara Villasenor at 206-478-5643.

Mailing address
PO Box 85565
Seattle, WA 98145-1565

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