OLYMPIA, WASH. – On May 7, 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Senate Bill 5116, which mandates that the state gets 100 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2045. The passage positions Washington as a national leader in the transition to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future.
Washington state’s announcement comes at a time when both the reality of the climate crisis and the practical steps to solve it have never been clearer.
Eighteen of the 19 hottest years on record have occurred since the beginning of this century, and alongside these increases in global temperatures, weather events like major hurricanes, floods, and droughts have become more frequent and severe. But with clean energy and energy storage becoming more affordable and widely available, we have the solutions today to solve this crisis.
The Climate Reality Project’s Washington state chapters in Bellingham, Snohomish County, Seattle, Tacoma, and Thurston County, as well as Climate Reality Leaders in other parts of the state, joined forces as the Washington State Coalition, under the guidance of the Environmental Priorities Coalition. The coalition worked to get the state legislature to commit to transition to a safer, more sustainable energy future for the Evergreen State.
Climate Reality Leaders and chapter members were instrumental in the passage of the bill. They assisted in sending 415 emails to state senators in support of the legislation, and hosted more than 10 meetings with representatives from Everett, Mukilteo, Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland, Olympia, and the Snohomish County Public Utilities Department (PUD). Their collective efforts also prompted 10 businesses to sign on in support of the statewide initiative.
“Today was a momentous occasion for all Washingtonians with the passing of SB 5116,” said Ali Lee, co-chair of The Climate Reality Project: Seattle, WA Chapter and the 100% Committed WA state campaign chair. “We rallied chapters and Climate Reality Leaders across the state to make calls, publish articles, and meet with legislators to help pass this bill. Thank you all for this truly statewide effort, working together as Climate Reality Leaders in coalition with other like-minded organizations for 100 percent clean electricity.”
The bill phases out coal from the electricity grid by the end of 2025 and makes swift progress toward cutting further carbon pollution by setting an interim target of carbon-neutral electricity by 2030.
SB 5116 invests in low-income communities to correct historic energy inequities through a cumulative impact analysis in the development of clean energy action plans, and funding made available for energy assistance to low-income households. The bill also invests in Washington workers as part of the transition to clean electricity, prioritizing jobs with livable wages.
The passage of the bill positions Washington state as a national leader in the transition to clean electricity with a dedicated focus on correcting historic climate injustices and lifting up the vulnerable communities often most affected by the climate crisis.
ABOUT THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT
Founded by Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is working to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society. With a global movement more than five million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Reality Leader activists, we are spreading the truth about the climate crisis and building popular support for clean energy solutions. For more information, visit www.climaterealityproject.org or follow us on Twitter at @ClimateReality.
ABOUT CLIMATE REALITY CHAPTERS
A Climate Reality chapter is a local group of climate activists in the United States that share The Climate Reality Project’s mission of supporting action to combat the climate crisis so we can make the transition to a clean energy economy and protect the welfare of the planet and its citizens.
Our chapters provide an immediate way for everyday Americans to connect and network with other climate activists, recruit additional volunteers, take action, and become a powerful force for climate solutions in their communities. Learn more at https://www.climaterealityproject.org/chapters.