How big of a deal was it when Initiative 2117 qualified for the ballot back in January? 

From our perspective, the threat of Initiative 2117 to repeal the CCA really set the stage for the entire session. If Initiative 2117 were to pass in November, it would be a devastating blow to efforts to reduce carbon pollution and tackle the climate crisis, not to mention the impact to our state budget. This election will ripple out to the broader climate justice movement too. Other states are watching to see if the CCA can hold up to a ballot challenge, and what happens in Washington will shape the political will to pass big climate action in other jurisdictions.  

In addition to repealing the CCA, this initiative would prohibit Washington from passing any kind of carbon pricing in the future. This would put us in a near-impossible place to reduce emissions, fund a transition to a green economy, and support communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Our state would almost certainly fail to meet our 2030 Paris Treaty-aligned goals.  While we have real work to do to make sure the CCA fulfills its commitments to the people of Washington, we need the CCA standing strong to see that vision through.  

We’ve been wary of attempts to weaken the CCA since its passage in 2021. Can you share some concerns TNC had going into this session?

We definitely knew threats to the CCA were coming this session. By our count, there were roughly two dozen bills this session that could have impacted the CCA. For example, a proposal with oil industry support would have restructured the way the cap on carbon emissions is set, pushing significant carbon pollution reductions further into the future.  

I’m happy to say that the bills that posed the biggest threats to the integrity of the CCA were unsuccessful. It took a lot of vigilance and conversations with decision-makers to continue to focus on the vision of the CCA. This session was a reminder that passing bold policy involves persistence and follow-through to ensure the policy stays strong in law and in implementation. 

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