WSR 08-05-054




[ February 7, 2007 ]



WHEREAS, there is scientific consensus that increasing emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global temperatures to rise at rates that have the potential to cause economic disruption, environmental damage, and a public health crisis;

The drivers of climate change are global, but the effects of climate change on Washington are local and unique, including our dependence on snowpack for fresh water, our reliance on hydropower for energy, and our significant amount of shoreline;

According to the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group, the effects of climate change are already being felt in the state of Washington in the form of average yearly temperatures rising faster over the 20th Century than the global average, mountain glaciers in the North Cascades losing up to a third of their area since 1950, snow pack in the Cascades declining by 35%, peak spring river runoff occurring 10 to 30 days earlier and the proportion of stream flow that arrives in summer decreasing as much as 34% in sensitive river basins; and

WHEREAS, Washington has taken significant actions to address climate change, including:

Adopting the 2005 Clean Car Act requiring certain automobiles to meet tougher emissions standards beginning with 2009 models;
Retrofitting 50% of school buses and 20% of local government diesel engine vehicles to reduce highly toxic diesel emissions;
Leading the nation in requiring fuel suppliers to ensure that 2% of the fuel they sell is biodiesel or ethanol;
Leading the nation in adopting high performance green building standards and having one of the most energy efficient building codes in the nation;
Implementing the best energy efficiency standards for appliances;
Passing a clean energy initiative to increase the amount of energy efficiency and renewable resources in our state's electricity system;
Purchasing hybrid and low emission vehicles for state agency use;
Adopting the Columbia River Water Management Act, which will work toward meeting the water storage needs for agriculture, communities, and salmon; and

WHEREAS, Washington has tremendous opportunities to build a healthier and more prosperous future by embracing the challenge of climate change through expanding our clean energy economy;

Washington's rural communities can gain economic benefit through the production of renewable fuels, keeping more of the money Washington residents spend on imported fuels here at home; and

WHEREAS, Washington has worked closely with California and Oregon in establishing the West Coast Governors' Global Warming Initiative and is working with other western states to address climate change in a coordinated effort and through the Western Governors Association; and

WHEREAS, Washington's vast hydroelectric system must be taken into account in any regional or national climate program; and

Washington State must continue its work to be prepared for the inevitable impacts of climate change.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington declare the state's commitment to address climate change by:

1. Establishing the following greenhouse gas emissions reduction and clean energy economy goals for Washington State:

By 2020, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Washington to 1990 levels, a reduction of 10 million metric tons below 2004 emissions;
By 2035, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Washington to 25% below 1990 levels, a reduction of 30 million metric tons below 2004;
By 2050, the state of Washington will do its part to reach global climate stabilization levels by reducing emissions to 50% below 1990 levels or 70% below our expected emissions that year, an absolute reduction in emissions of nearly 50 million metric tons below 2004;
By 2020, increase the number of clean energy sector jobs to 25,000 from the 8,400 jobs we had in 2004; and
By 2020, reduce expenditures by 20% on fuel imported into the state by developing Washington resources and supporting efficient energy use.
2. Implementing the significant policy actions taken in 2005 and 2006 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These actions will move Washington State to at least 60% of the 2020 goal and grow the clean energy economy by:

Working to ensure cars sold in Washington meet stringent emission standards beginning with 2009 models;
Retrofitting the most polluting diesel engines in school buses and local government vehicles;
Working with farmers, entrepreneurs, fuel distributors and retailers to assure that biofuel feedstocks are grown in Washington; that refiners, blenders and distributors of biofuels create family wage jobs in Washington; and that the public can purchase fuel blends that reduce our dependence on imported fuel;
Constructing high performance green buildings;
Maintaining the highest levels of efficiency in our state's energy code and regularly updating and enhancing those standards;
Examining compliance with appliance efficiency standards and updating and enhancing those standards;
Implementing the requirements of the Energy Independence Act by adopting rules that help utilities to succeed in meeting their renewable energy targets;
Pursuing new water resources in Eastern Washington, including water conservation projects, developing new storage and new creative water management alternatives; and
Reducing energy use by state agencies by achieving the goals established in Executive Order 05-01, Establishing Sustainability and Efficiency Goals for State Operations.

3. Achieving at least the remaining 40% toward the 2020 goal for Washington State and planning for our future, I, FURTHER, order and direct:

A. The Director of the Department of Ecology and the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders to develop a climate change initiative, Washington Climate Change Challenge, to achieve the goals of this Executive Order. Executive Cabinet agencies are directed to provide their full assistance and support in developing Washington Climate Change Challenge. I invite the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Commissioner of Public Lands, institutions of higher education, and members of the Legislature to assist in this effort.
B. The Director of the Department of Ecology and the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development shall include representatives from business, including transportation, forestry and energy sectors, agriculture, local, county and regional governments, institutions of higher education, labor unions, environmental groups and other interested residents as appropriate in the development of Washington Climate Change Challenge.
C. Washington Climate Change Challenge shall address the following elements and process steps:
i) Consider the full range of policies and strategies for the state of Washington to adopt or undertake to ensure the economic and emission reductions goals are achieved, including policy options that can maximize the efficiency of emission reductions including market-based systems, allowance trading, and incentives;
ii) Determine specific steps the state of Washington should take to prepare for the impact of global warming, including impacts to public health, agriculture, the coast line, forestry, and infrastructure;
iii) Assess what further steps the state of Washington should take to be prepared for the impact of global warming to water supply and management;
iv) Initiate active involvement by the state of Washington in the development of regional and national climate policies and coordination with British Columbia;
v) Recommend how the state of Washington, as an entity, can reduce its generation of greenhouse gas emissions;
vi) Work with the state of Washington's local governments to maximize coordination and effectiveness of local and state climate initiatives; and
vii) Inform the general public of the process, solicit comments and involvement and develop recommendations for future public education and outreach.

D. The Director of the Department of Ecology and the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development shall submit Washington Climate Change Challenge to the Office of the Governor within one year of the signing of this Executive Order.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington, on this 7th day of February 2007, at Olympia, Washington.
Christine O. Gregoire
Sam Reed
Secretary of State

Washington State Code Reviser's Office