Office of Governor Gary Locke
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 18, 2004
Contact: Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136
Alt Contact: Anna Richter Taylor, Governor Kulongoski’s Communications Office, 503-378-6496; Denise Davis, Governor Schwarzenegger’s Communications Office, 916-445-4571
West Coast Governors Strengthen Joint Climate Protection StrategyThe governors of Washington, Oregon and California today approved a series of recommendations for action to combat global warming, and directed their staffs to continue working on state and regional goals and strategies to combat global warming over the coming year. The staff report to the three governors, entitled “The West Coast Governors’ Global Warming Initiative – Staff Recommendations to the Governors,” stated:
“Global warming will have serious adverse consequences on the economy, health and environment of the West Coast states. These impacts will grow significantly in coming years if we do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Fortunately, addressing global warming carries substantial economic benefits. The West Coast region is rich in renewable energy resources and advanced energy-efficient technologies. We can capitalize on these strengths and invest in the clean energy resources of our region.”
“By working together as a region, we can have a significant impact on the reduction of greenhouse gases," said Washington Gov. Gary Locke. “Utilizing a consistent and common approach among the states will create great economic opportunities and maximize the environmental benefits.”
“Global warming is one of the most significant threats to our quality of life and I am encouraged by the progress made under the West Coast Governors Global Warming Initiative during this past year,” said Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski. “The recommendations in this report are an important step in the right direction. I look forward to receiving a more comprehensive set of recommendations from the Oregon Global Warming Advisory Group that has been hard at work over the past ten months to assess Oregon greenhouse gas emissions and consider strategies to reduce those emissions. I hope those recommendations provide new avenues to pursue in this regional collaboration over the coming year.”
“California has been a leader in the efforts to combat global warming. Because the causes of climate change are not isolated to one state or region, it is important that we continue to work together on actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This is the most recent action taken as part of the West Coast Governors’ Global Warming Initiative, launched by the governors in September 2003. This effort is widely considered one of leading state initiatives on climate change in the United States. The governors have committed to act individually and regionally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below current levels through strategies that promote long-term economic growth, protect public health and the environment, consider social equity, and expand public awareness.
In today’s action, the governors approved 36 recommendations in five areas that were jointly developed by the three states. Among the recommendations are directives to:
· Set new targets for improvement in performance in average annual state fleet greenhouse gas emissions.
· Collaborate on the purchase of hybrid vehicles.
· Establish a plan for the deployment of electrification technologies at truck stops in each state on the I-5 corridor, on the outskirts of major urban areas, and on other major interstate routes.
· Set goals and implement strategies and incentives to increase retail energy sales from renewable resources by one percent or more annually in each state through 2015.
· Adopt energy efficiency standards for eight to 14 products not regulated by the federal government, establishing a cost-effective efficiency threshold for all products sold on the West Coast.
· Incorporate aggressive energy efficiency measures into updates of state building energy codes, with a goal of achieving at least 15 percent cumulative savings by 2015 in each state.
· Organize a West Coast Governors’ conference in 2005 to inform policy-makers and the public of climate change research concerning the West Coast states.
In addition, as the next phase of work under this initiative, the governors have agreed to explore more comprehensive regional measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, working with stakeholders deliberating in each of their states. Four areas are highlighted as holding the most promise for achieving greenhouse gas reductions:
· Adopt comprehensive state and regional goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
· Adopt standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
· Develop a market-based carbon allowance program.
· Expand the markets for energy efficiency, renewable resources, and alternative fuels.
The governors directed their state agencies to continue the West Coast Governors’ Global Warming Initiative in 2005, and to strengthen links with similar efforts in other states and Canada.
The governors are fully confident that, given the promise of new technologies, reducing greenhouse gases will simultaneously protect the environment and grow the economy across the region. “By working together,” the report states, “the West Coast states can take a global leadership position in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating global warming — while achieving strong, long-term economic growth.”
The tri-state report on the first year of the West Coast Governors Global Warming Initiative, which includes the full list of recommendations, is available online at http://www.governor.wa.gov/globalwarming/wcggwi1104report.pdf.
# # #