Category: Newsletter

On Tuesday, March 10, the Sustainable Farms and Fields bill (SB 5947) passed the Washington State legislature! The Senate accepted the amendments that were made in the House with an overwhelming bipartisan majority (63-6).

We are thrilled that many stakeholders in the agriculture sector came to the table to improve the bill and provide resources that farmers need to lead on climate. The collaborative efforts that led to the passage of Sustainable Farms and Fields is a powerful example of the type of state-wide engagement that is possible and needed to move Washington State to net zero emissions.

We are grateful for the partnership of the 115 farms and organizations that signed onto the letter of support for the Sustainable Farms & Fields grant program. Click on the following links to find out more about a few of these farms: Spoon Full Farm, Living Heritage Farms, and Klickitat Canyon Winery. Thank you to all of you for connecting us to farmers in your network and amplifying farmers’ voices by continuing to contact your legislators. Your calls and emails make a difference!

We want to specifically recognize the incredible efforts of volunteers like Melinda McBride, Pauline Druffel, Pat Rasmussen, Warren Neth, and the Carbon Washington advocacy team. Megan Conaway, Cecilia Mirabile, and Matt Stidham promoted grassroots action. Jim Baird, Penny Dex, Jake Stewart, Warren Shoemaker, Lisa Hasselman, Joel Hansen, Steve Ghan, Margaret Homerding, Melissa Spear, and Phyllis Farrell made the trip to Olympia to give powerful testimony at the public hearing. Organizational partners worked to improve the bill and advocate for its passage, including Audubon Washington, The Nature Conservancy, Washington State Farm Bureau, Washington State Dairy Federation, Washington Young Farmers Coalition, Tilth Alliance, Northwest Farmers Union, Faith Action Network, and many others. Thank you! (more…)

The 2020 legislative session began on January 13th. It is a short 60-day session so Carbon Washington staff, board members, volunteers, and supporters have been working hard to lay the groundwork to advance important climate legislation.

Sustainable Farms and Fields Progress

Over 75 farms, food systems stakeholders, and environmental organizations from across the state have endorsed the Sustainable Farms and Fields campaign. This strong support underscores that effective climate policy can also benefit farm businesses and rural communities. Read this article to find out why Spoon Full Farm, a farm in Thorp, Washington, has endorsed Sustainable Farms and Fields and how they sequester carbon, improve fertility, and build healthy soil.

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Spoon Full Farm has endorsed Sustainable Farms and Fields

We expect that the Sustainable Farms and Fields bill (SB 5947) will be reintroduced in the Senate early in the legislative session. Now is a great time to call your state Senator to express your support for the bill and ask them to pass effective climate solutions, including SB 5947, that benefit communities across Washington State. (more…)

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We are thankful for all you gave this Giving Tuesday,

Thanks to the roughly 45 donors who have helped us raise over $18,000 in our matching drive! We exceeded our original $10,000 target almost two-fold! Your financial contributions enable us to keep our Sustainable Farms work going through the legislative session while also giving us bandwidth to work on carbon pricing and other climate action policies. If you missed out on the match please still consider donating to CarbonWA — you can give online or mail a check to PO Box 85565, Seattle, WA 98145.

CarbonWA featured at next Climate Science on Tap 12/16

Please join CarbonWA at the next Climate Science on Tap Happy Hour Monday 12/16 at Optimism Brewing. Cascadia Climate Action will be hosting an informative discussion featuring CarbonWA’s Greg Rock and other experts on the role of farms in solving the climate crisis. Family and dog-friendly!

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Over $5,000 raised toward our $7,500 match!

Give now to double your gift!

Thanks to over 25 donors who have helped us raise over $5,300 towards our $7,500 match to support our Sustainable Farms Campaign! You can help by donating now to help us hit our match. Funds raised go towards supporting our Sustainable Farms staff (meet Noa!), growing our coalition, lobbying in Olympia for the passage of SB 5947, and building broader awareness through events, like an upcoming presentation in Spokane at Forza Coffee at 5 pm on 10/24 and media (like The Washington Wire). Your gift goes directly to a lean, mean campaign for bipartisan legislation that will. cut. carbon. emissions.

More farms join our coalition!

Since our last newsletter, we have launched a sign-on letter for farms, environmental organizations, and other partners to sign in order to demonstrate the growing support for SB 5947 and climate-friendly farming practices broadly. Almost immediately, 7 farm or farming organizations joined us. We expect many more to join us in the coming months ahead of the next legislative session. You can help by sharing the attached letter with farms, farming and food organizations, environmental groups, and businesses so they can sign on. To officially sign on, please send an email to Noa@carbonwa.org demonstrating an appropriate officer of the organization approves of signing the letter and include a logo. (more…)

Kyle Murphy has been CarbonWA’s executive director since 2016 (and campaign co-chair before that). Kyle is now in his second year of law school and needs to focus on the demanding curriculum. Thank you, Kyle, for all you’ve done to help CarbonWA become a force for cleaning up Washington’s carbon emissions.

CarbonWA is now looking for a talented administrator, team leader, communicator, fundraiser, political strategist and more to take on the executive director role. This is your opportunity to help take CarbonWA to the next level of fundraising capability, volunteer mobilization, and legislative success.

Sound like you? We’d love to hear from you. Please read the job description, then send your cover letter and resume to jobs@carbonwa.org.

We’ll start reviewing applications on October 14.

Thanks for your interest!

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Will You Invest in Climate-Friendly Farming Today?

CarbonWA’s campaign for climate-friendly farms and ranches needs your help!

Last legislative session SB 5947, a bill to support climate-friendly farming, moved through the Senate with bipartisan support led by Senators McCoy (D) and Schoesler (R). Senate Bill 5947 is the first step towards Carbon Washington’s goal of supporting our farming economy while maximizing the potential to use farm and prairie lands to fight climate change. You can learn more about the bill here and here. A CarbonWA supporter just offered to increase our matching amount from $5,000 to $7,500 to support this campaign. Please give today to help us take full advantage of the match!

A donor stepped up to increase the match from $5,000 to $7,500!

Can you give now?

(21 Acres Farm hosted CarbonWA at their fall harvest celebration)

We are already making progress! (more…)

Will You Invest in Climate-Friendly Farms Today?

CarbonWA’s campaign for sustainable, climate-friendly farms and ranches needs your help!

Last legislative session SB 5947 moved through the Senate with bipartisan support led by Senators McCoy (D) and Schoesler (R) and testimony in support from many in the farming community. However, after passing the Senate the bill stalled in the House for reasons discussed here. Senate Bill 5947 is the first step towards Carbon Washington’s goal of supporting our farming economy while maximizing the potential to use farm and prairie lands to fight climate change. You can learn more about the bill here and here.

To get the bill over the finish line, we are launching a campaign to cultivate interest among farmers and rural communities while collecting input to perfect the bill for 2020’s legislative session. As a first step, we have hired a campaign manager to spearhead our work to build support and awareness in the farming community. We’ve raised roughly $30,000, but are short of our fundraising goal to support other critical elements like rural outreach coordinators, media support, lobbying and more.

That’s why the CarbonWA Board is matching gifts up to $5,000!

The beauty of focusing on farmland is that we can tackle climate change and help our farmers and improve our land for wildlife. We can reduce the fertilizer use which leads to algae blooms, help farmers buy new equipment that reduces air pollution, and store more carbon in our soils — which leads to increased yields and microbial activity. (more…)

CarbonWA’s Sustainable Farm Campaign is Growing!

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. The primary opponents the Potato Commission and the Farm Bureau called on the legislature to fund a $30,000 study bill review the legislative proposal over the interim rather than advancing the bill in 2019.

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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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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Your Climate Action Opportunity

Take 1 Action to make an impact on Earth Day.

This Earth Day we have our eye on lesser-known but vitally important HB 1112. This bill would phase out the use of Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) — a super greenhouse gas used in refrigerants. HFC emissions are thousands of times more potent than CO2 when it comes to trapping heat. When you consider all the energy lost in commercial uses — between air-conditioning on increasingly hot summer days, or at every local grocery store to keep our food cold 24/7 — it’s a chilling thought. This bill will have a big impact! HFC’s account for 4% of Washington’s warming emissions right now.

The Senate is considering amendments that weaken the bill, but we need the Senate to uphold the stronger version passed by the House. Your senator needs to know that you support passing the original House version of the bill.

Please contact your Senator with this FastAction form!

Here’s some more commentary on the need + impact of HB 1112 from waclimateleg.info:

Establishes deadlines for banning hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and some other refrigerants as well as products using them or manufactured with them from entering into state commerce, since the EPA’s regulations for eliminating these under provisions of the Clean Air Act have been suspended by a 2017 Appeals Court decision…. estimates that phasing out the creation and use of new HFCs, following the provisions of the Kigali Accord, would avoid something between 25GT and 78GT of additional global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Or if you prefer to email/call your WA Senator directly, here’s some sample language: (more…)