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Climate Change 
PCC > Priorities > Climate Action


Rising levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases have warmed the earth and are already causing wide-ranging impacts, from rising sea levels to melting snow and ice to more drought and floods. These changes are expected to increase in frequency and intensity, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Extreme events, disasters and long-term climatic changes will likely significantly impact human health, our forests, agriculture, freshwater supplies, coastlines and other natural resources that are vital to the economy and the environment along the Pacific Coast. How the Pacific Coastal region responds to the issue of global warming will shape the future of not just the region's environment, but also its economy, its communities, and its way of life. 

By working collaboratively to shape policy and facilitate aggressive action on climate change, the Pacific coastal region will lead the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing risks of creating impacts beyond our ability to respond and adapt.  While no individual action is too small to matter, it will take the full engagement of government, individuals, business, First Nations and Tribes, environmental advocates, and the academic and scientific communities to turn down the heat.

Regional Best Practices:

  • The Climate Action Plan is British Columbia’s roadmap to a new, prosperous, green economy for the province. It outlines strategies and initiatives to take B.C. approximately 73% towards meeting the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020, including North America's first revenue-neutral carbon tax.
  •  AB 32, the landmark California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, established a comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve  quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of GHG. Visit California’s Climate Change Portal for more information.
  • In 2007, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed House Bill 3543, setting forth agressive greenhouse gas reduction targets of 75% below 1990 levels by 2020. The bill also established a Global Warming Commission and the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute in the Oregon University System. 
  • Since 2007, Washington Governor Gregoire signed into law several climate change bills and issued several executive orders establishing a policy framework to: achieve statewide greenhouse gas limits; reduce emissions from transportation, electricity, building, and state government operation; create green economy jobs; and prepare the state in addressing and adapting to the impacts of climate change. See Washington's Climate Change Policy Framework for more information.
  • The West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health  and federal partners commissioned the National Research Council to provide regional projections and uncertainties of sea level rise along the West Coast in the years 2030, 2050, and 2100.  The study is expected to be released in the spring of 2012 and will provide important assistance to state and local governments in making decisions on policy, management, infrastructure investments and adaptation strategies.


The effects of climate change can already be seen and felt throughout the region. 


 News From the Region

July 30, 2015: New PCC Iinitiative Accelerates West Coast's Drive for Electric Vehicle Purchases
PORTLAND—The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington and the premier of British Columbia are teaming up with West Coast cities, counties and utilities to launch a major new initiative designed to accelerate adoption of zero-emission vehicles in public and private fleets on the West Coast.

July 28, 2015: Governor Inslee directs development of regulatory cap on carbon emissions
OLYMPIA - Gov. Jay Inslee today directed the state Department of Ecology to step up enforcement of existing state pollution laws and develop a regulatory cap on carbon emissions. Inslee said Washingtonians have too much at stake to wait any longer for legislative action.

May 19, 2015: Governor Brown, International Leaders Form Historic Partnership to Fight Climate Change
SACRAMENTO – California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed a first-of-its-kind agreement with international leaders from 11 other states and provinces, collectively representing more than $4.5 trillion in GDP and 100 million people, to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius – the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions.

May 19, 2015: B.C. signs on to new global climate leadership pact
VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark issued the following statement today: “As a recognized world leader on climate action, British Columbia is pleased to join an ambitious new international action to tackle climate change – the “Under 2 MOU”.

May 19, 2015: Washington teams up with states and provinces worldwide committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80-95 percent
OLYMPIA - Washington state today joined as a founding signatory to an agreement of states and provinces from developed and developing nations calling for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

April 29, 2015: Governor Brown Establishes Most Ambitious Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target in North America New California Goal Aims to Reduce Emissions 40 Percent Below 1990 Levels by 2030
SACRAMENTO - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 - the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce dangerous carbon emissions over the next decade and a half.

April 29, 2015: B.C. congratulates California for new climate target

April 13, 2015: B.C. challenges the world as work begins on Climate Action Plan 2.0
VICTORIA – Building on British Columbia’s climate success in advance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris this December, Premier Christy Clark today announced the Province is challenging other jurisdictions to match or exceed the world-leading standard B.C. has set for climate action.