In Seattle yesterday, Governor Christine Gregoire’s Climate Action Team met to discuss strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (releases), and to plan how the state of Washington can prepare for and adapt to changes caused by global warming. This year, Governor Gregoire and lawmakers vowed to cut emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050. The Climate Action Team was created to strategize ways to meet the governor’s goals.
The team is led by the directors of the Departments of Ecology and Community, Trade, and Economic Development. There are 27 additional members on the team representing tribal, government, environmental, and business interests. The team must provide initial recommendations for cutting emissions by October, and a final report is due in January 2008. State lawmakers will be able to take action when they meet early next year.
Washington State produces about 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, close to half of it coming from automobiles, airplanes and other forms of transportation. U.S. emissions total more than 7 billion metric tons.
Several organizations, including the Sierra Club , Environment Washington , and the NW Energy Coalition planned a rally to take place at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, where the Climate Action Team meeting took place. Approximately 100 activists, including students, faith leaders, and environmental advocates attended the rally and contributed to the public comment period during the meeting.