“More than a year before Democrats in Congress approved a massive climate law last year, Washington state enacted the nation’s second cap-and-trade program that will provide billions of dollars for carbon reduction and environmental justice projects.
The funding is something climate activists have been seeking for years — if not decades — and state leaders and national experts say the state and federal efforts are largely complementary. But the unprecedented sums could also test the state’s capacity to administer the slew of new and newly flush programs.
‘Can we use all this money? There’s so much money now,’ said Becky Kelley, a climate policy adviser to Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat. ‘The answer is yes. There are a whole lot of new resources, but we can put all of them and more to use.’”
“In Washington, and other states that had been more aggressive on climate policy and spending before the unprecedented federal funding became a reality, the federal influx is easily compatible with existing state-level programs, said Casey Katims, the executive director of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of 24 governors who have committed to certain climate goals.
‘A lot of these funds can be blended and braided and stacked to strengthen the work across each of the different programs,’ Katims said. ‘Our states are leading on efforts to bring all of these resources to bear to decarbonize our economy across sectors.’”
Launched on June 1, 2017 by the governors of Washington, New York, and California to help fill the void left by the previous administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the Alliance has grown to include governors from across the U.S. Governors in the Alliance have pledged to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, at least 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, and collectively achieve overall net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as practicable, and no later than 2050.
Alliance states and territories are achieving lower levels of air pollution, delivering more energy savings to homes and businesses, preparing more effectively for climate impacts, generating more electricity from zero-carbon sources, and collectively employing over 40% more workers in the clean energy sector than the rest of the country. For more information on Alliance members’ bipartisan, cross-sector climate action, see our Fact Sheet.