While international leaders meet in Doha, Qatar, to discuss climate action, most U.S. leaders are focused on the “fiscal cliff” instead of the “climate cliff.” Yet leaders along America’s Pacific coast are already actively reducing emissions, preparing for climate impacts, and transitioning to a clean energy economy.
“California, Oregon, Washington, and their partners in British Columbia, are leading the way toward a cleaner, more prosperous future, and setting the standard for effective collaboration,” says Susan Frank, Director of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy, a network of more than 1,250 businesses committed to the state’s clean energy economy. “They’ve got their priorities straight. There’s nothing more important we can do for future generations than leave them with a healthy, prosperous world.”
Frank points to California’s landmark clean energy and climate law, AB 32, which led to a successful first auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits that raised $290 million for the state in November. California is also a member of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, a cross-border group of state and provincial leaders working on joint solutions for shared problems like climate change, including putting a price on carbon – a position that the PCC leaders voiced jointly for the first time on the day California launched its auction. The PCC members are also working together to promote policies that advance clean, renewable energy, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and boost efforts to invest in critical infrastructure needs necessary to building more resilient cities and a cleaner energy economy.
“These leaders know we can’t continue depending on dirty fuels developed a century ago that pollute the air we breathe and the water we drink,” Frank says. “Innovative partnerships between government and business to develop clean sources of energy, like wind and solar, will help us create jobs here at home that cannot be outsourced.”
Recent polls have shown broad support for policies like California’s climate law, and for maintaining and expanding efforts across the region to account for the costs of carbon pollution and invest in clean energy sources by ensuring polluters pay when they contribute to climate change.
“These polls demonstrate that even in a tough economy, voters in the region prioritize efforts to hasten the transition towards cleaner energy and tackle climate change while growing the economy,” Frank added.
Background on the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy:
The California Business Alliance for a Green Economy was created to amplify the business voice in support of policies to help move us toward cleaner energy, less dependence on fossil fuel, and to help us avoid the economic and social disruptions associated with climate change. As of November 2012, 1,245 businesses and business organizations support the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy.
Background on the Pacific Coast Collaborative:
In June, 2008, the leaders of five jurisdictions — California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and the Province of British Columbia — signed the Pacific Coast Collaborative Agreement, the first agreement that brings together these leaders as a common front to set a cooperative direction into the Pacific Century. Out of this agreement was born the Pacific Coast Collaborative — a formal basis for cooperative action, a forum for leadership and information sharing, and a common voice on issues facing Pacific North America.
Background on the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange:
California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia have combined to form the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX). The partnership is being launched to create and develop innovative new methods to finance and facilitate development of the infrastructure needed to improve the region’s economic competitiveness, support jobs and families, and enhance our shared quality of life. It will rely on private sector expertise, stretch dollars further and increase accountability.
California Business Alliance for a Green Economy