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West Coast Leaders Double Down on Bold Actions to Fight Climate Crisis

(San Francisco, CA) — In the latest of several climate agreements among Pacific Coast governments, Oregon, California, Washington, and British Columbia signed a new partnership today 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 like EV charging stations and a clean electric grid, and protecting communities from climate impacts like 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.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and British Columbia Premier John Horgan signed the Pacific Coast Collaborative Statement of Cooperation at the Presidio Tunnel Tops in San Francisco. The project, which opened earlier 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 agendas, came together to continue to strengthen regional approaches and connections – to help move essential climate work further and faster.

“The West Coast is united as we lead the way towards a clean energy future that helps our entire region and economies thrive. In Oregon, we have set ambitious goals to reach 100% clean energy sources, reduce carbon emissions, and comprehensively address climate change,” said Governor Brown. “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.”  

“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,” said Governor Newsom. 

“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,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

“Here on the Pacific coast of North America, we’ve been on the frontlines 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 cooperation, 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,” said Premier Horgan, British Columbia.

The agreement signed today includes the following actions:

  • Support overburdened communities to expand access to low carbon, climate resilient technologies.
  • Accelerate the transition to regional zero-emission transportation by investing in electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refueling stations.
  • Invest in and increase forest and community resiliency across the region to minimize the occurrence, impact, and spread of devastating wildfire and smoke.

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, Oregon, Washington, California, British Columbia, 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. All share ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to at least 80 percent by 2050.  Watch a video on the Pacific Coast Collaborative here.

Oregon is leading the way in adapting to, and mitigating the impacts of climate change — all while centering the historically underserved communities that are hardest hit, and preparing Oregon for the clean energy economy of the future. 

The state is moving towards 100% clean energy on one of the most ambitious timelines in the nation. Oregon was the first state in the country to pass coal-to-clean legislation in 2016, with the state’s last coal plant being demolished this past summer. Additionally, Oregon recently hit its goal of putting 50,000 electric vehicles on Oregon roads — all while centering equity to make EVs more accessible to everyone. EV rebates are now provided for people with low incomes, and for used EV purchases — the first state in the country to do so. Congress followed Oregon’s lead by including tax credits for used electric vehicles in the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Following California, Oregon is also developing its own Advanced Clean Cars II regulation to move to 100% zero-emission new vehicles by 2035. Additionally, Oregon has made historic investments in wildfire prevention, mitigation, and response to help create fire-adapted communities and ensure firefighters have the tools and resources needed to fight fires made more intense by the impacts of climate change.

A full copy of the agreement can be found here

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