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November 05, 2013

Great Climate News from the Pacific Coast

 Climate history has been made again. Among the announcement of the 150th coal plant closing in the United States, the IPCC’s report about the human cause of climate disruption, and the EPA’s first-ever protections against carbon pollution from new power plants comes another environmental victory. Last week, three west coast governors and the government of British Columbia released a landmark action plan that addresses major climate issues.

The governors of California, Washington, and Oregon worked with the Premier of British Columbia to combat climate disruption by setting a price and standards for greenhouse gas emissions and outlining initiatives to invest in clean energy and infrastructure.  

The goal of the pact is to “[affirm] our shared vision of Pacific North America as a model of innovation that sustains our communities and creates jobs and new economic opportunities for our combined population of 53 million,” the plan reads.

The governments plan to work together to combat climate disruption so as to make the largest impact possible. Currently, California and British Columbia already put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, and through this pact Washington and Oregon will follow suit.

“California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia know that cutting pollution leads to a healthier environment and a stronger economy,” Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) said in a statement.

The pact not only plans to coordinate the environmental efforts of these states, but aims to target national and international climate policies.

“[M]eaningful coordination and linkage between states and provinces across North America and the world on actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can improve the effectiveness of these actions, increase their overall positive impact and build momentum for broader international coordination to combat climate change,” the plan continues.

This pact was spurred by the work of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, an organization comprised of west coast states and Canada, which represents 53 million people and a gross domestic product of $2.8 trillion.

--Cindy Carr, Sierra Club Media Team Intern


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