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West Coast leaders double down on bold actions to fight climate crisis

CANADA, October 6 - In the latest of several climate agreements among Pacific Coast governments, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia have signed a new partnership recommitting the region to climate action.

The Statement of Cooperation (SOC) promotes collaboration between the four regional governments on accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy, investing in climate infrastructure, such as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and a clean-electricity grid, and protecting communities from climate effects, such as drought, wildfire, heat waves and sea-level changes. The SOC includes a major focus on equity, ensuring no communities are left behind in the transition to a low-carbon future.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed hosted California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and British Columbia Premier John Horgan as they signed the Pacific Coast Collaborative Statement of Cooperation at the Presidio Tunnel Tops in San Francisco. The project, which opened this year, is a model for building climate resiliency in urban areas and providing equitable access to green spaces.

Leaders of the four jurisdictions, each with their own ambitious climate agenda, came together to continue to strengthen regional approaches and connections to help move essential climate work further and faster.

“In California, we punch above our weight when it comes to climate action – but our actions can only do so much without the rest of the world at our side. The Pacific Coast is raising the bar for tackling the climate crisis while also ensuring every community is included in our efforts. The West will continue to lead the way toward a carbon-free future that supports our economy, our people and our planet,” Newsom said. 

Brown said: “The West Coast is united as we lead the way toward a clean energy future that helps our entire region and economies to thrive. In Oregon, we have set ambitious goals to reach 100% clean energy sources, reduce carbon emissions, and comprehensively address climate change. We are committed to addressing the impacts of climate change while also meeting the needs of our most vulnerable communities. Together, we are showing that it is possible to address climate change and create good-paying jobs at the same time, as we move towards a stronger, cleaner, equitable future.”

Inslee said: “This new agreement reaffirms our commitments to decarbonize our economies at a time when the consequences of victory or defeat in this effort have never been more acute. Our partnerships speak to just how diverse and interconnected the green energy economy has already become. We know where it goes from here – onward to a cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient energy economy that averts climate calamity at the same time. Together we will invest in an equitable transition to a cleaner future, build the climate infrastructure we need and protect our communities from climate-driven wildfires, droughts, heat and flooding.”

Premier Horgan said: “Here on the Pacific Coast of North America, we’ve been on the front lines of the climate crisis – both experiencing its most devastating impacts and leading the world in developing solutions to reduce carbon pollution. By signing this statement of co-operation, we’re building on our strengths as leaders in climate action and positioning ourselves for success in a clean energy economy. Working together, we’re charting a path to a cleaner, stronger future with good jobs and opportunities for people on both sides of the border.”

The agreement includes the following commitments:

  • support an equitable and just transition to a low carbon and climate resilient future, emphasizing investments in overburdened communities;
  • invest in climate infrastructure, such as EV charging stations, green ports, and a clean and reliable electric grid across the region; and
  • protect communities and natural and working lands from wildfire, drought, heat waves, ocean acidification and flooding.

The Pacific Coast of North America represents a thriving region of 57 million people with a combined GDP of $3.5 trillion. Through the Pacific Coast Collaborative, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and the cities of Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles are working together to build the low carbon economy of the future. They share ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 80% by 2050.

British Columbia has one of the strongest climate plans in North America through the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030. The Province is preparing for future climate impacts and building a more resilient future through the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.

The CleanBC Roadmap includes a wide range of accelerated and expanded actions to reduce pollution and build a cleaner, stronger economy for everyone, and builds on the progress already made. Some of these actions include:

  • a country-leading adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) (90% by 2030 of new light-duty sales) and 100% ZEVs by 2035; 
  • a commitment to develop new ZEV targets for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in line with California;
  • completing B.C.’s Electric Highway by 2024 with a target of having 10,000 public EV charging stations by 2030;
  • new requirements to ensure all new buildings emit zero carbon by 2030 and the highest energy-efficiency standards for new space- and water-heating equipment;
  • increasing clean fuel requirements and doubling the target for renewable fuels produced in B.C.
  • introducing a new oil and gas royalty system that puts the interests of British Columbians first and ends the biggest fossil fuel subsidy in the province; and
  • reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 75% by 2030, and nearly eliminating them from oil and gas, mining, forestry and industrial wood waste by 2035.

Learn More:

For information about the Pacific Coast Collaborative, visit: https://pacificcoastcollaborative.org/about/

Watch a video about the Pacific Coast Collaborative here:
https://46h83069gmc37jdhm425hbh3-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PCC-COP26.mp4

To read the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, visit: www.cleanbc.ca