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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

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.

March 12, 2015: Governor Kate Brown Signs Oregon Clean Fuels Legislation
SALEM,OR—Governor Kate Brown statement on the signing of Clean Fuels legislation:

December 17, 2014: Inslee announces slate of proposals to curb pollution, transition Washington to cleaner sources of energy
SEATTLE – Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a set of proposals to transition Washington to cleaner sources of energy and meet carbon pollution limits adopted by the state Legislature in 2008. The proposals build on a comprehensive executive order issued by the governor in April.

December 17, 2014: Premier Clark's statement on Washington's initiative to address climate change
VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark issued the following statement in response to proposals announced by Washington State to address climate change: “I would like to congratulate Washington Governor Jay Inslee for his bold, progressive proposals to tackle climate change

November 19, 2014: A YEAR LATER: BRITISH COLUMBIA, CALIFORNIA, OREGON & WASHINGTON MAKING PROGRESS ON COMMITMENTS: Regional Partnership Reveals a Way Forward as World Prepares for Lima Climate Talks
The Pacific Coast Collaborative released a progress report today highlighting achievements in the first year of the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, last year’s regional multilateral agreement integrating climate change and energy strategies for 53 million people on the West Coast.

UNITED NATIONS – The leaders of British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington, as part of the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, agreed last year to work together to advance national and international policy on climate change. As world leaders gather in New York for the UN Secretary-General's Climate Leadership Summit, Pacific Coast leaders delivered these statements of support for bold, decisive action: