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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

February 16, 2016: Governors Announce Bipartisan Accord for a New Energy Future
Washington DC – A bipartisan group of 17 governors today signed the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future - a joint commitment to take action to promote clean energy, clean transportation choices, a modern electrical grid, and plan for a new energy future.

December 7, 2015: Governors and Mayors Commit to Deep Emission Reductions in Drive to Forge a Global Agreement on Climate
PARIS – In a high-profile drive to get national leaders to come together on a meaningful agreement addressing climate change this week, nine of the world’s carbon-reduction champion states, provinces and cities joined together today, redoubling their commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 2 tons per capita, or 80-95% below a 1990 benchmark by 2050.

LOS ANGELES – As the COP 21 global climate conference gets underway in Paris, leaders from four jurisdictions of North America’s West Coast—British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Washington—are holding up a new report as evidence that the region’s collective leadership on climate change is bringing positive changes to the area.

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.