Washington Launches 2021 State Energy Strategy

As 2020 drew to a close, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced a bold climate package to put the state on a path to transition to cleaner sources of energy and achieve its ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets enacted during the 2020 legislative session.

The Governor’s comprehensive proposal—the Climate Commitment Act—articulates the investments needed in the state 2021-23 biennium budget (see Figure 1) to support an equitable and inclusive transition.

Figure 1. Governor Inslee’s Climate Commitment Act Investments

The Governor’s package drew upon the Washington 2021 State Energy Strategy, the state’s roadmap to a low-carbon future that the Department of Commerce released to the public the first week of 2021.

The Governor’s top priorities are to:

  • Establish a clean fuels standard and reduce transportation emissions through electrification.
  • Require new carbon-free buildings by 2030 and eliminate fossil fuels from existing buildings by 2050.
  • Require an environmental justice assessment for all climate related investments and create an Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Panel to analyze how climate investments impact communities most affected by climate change.
  • Invest $428 million in clean transportation, clean buildings, and clean energy projects.
  • Cap statewide greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean energy, transportation and climate resilience programs, and fund part of the Working Families Tax Credit.

Washington 2021 State Energy Strategy

The Clean Energy Transition Institute provided the technical analysis that underpins the state’s climate agenda, producing the following:

We are working with the Department of Commerce through June 2021 to provide communications materials and additional technical and economic analysis to help Washingtonians understand how the state aims to achieve its ambitious 2050 net zero-target, as well as its interim 2030 and 2040 targets along the way.

Eileen V. Quigley

Founder & Executive Director

Eileen V. Quigley is Founder and Executive Director of the Clean Energy Transition Institute.

Eileen spent seven years at Climate Solutions identifying the transition pathways off oil and coal to a low-carbon future in Washington and Oregon. She built and led the New Energy Cities program, which partnered with 22 Northwest cities and counties to reduce carbon emissions. As Director of Strategic Innovations, she oversaw New Energy Cities, as well as Sustainable Advanced Fuels, which worked to accelerate the development of advanced low-carbon fuels for aviation, marine, and fleets and the Northwest Biocarbon Initiative, which aimed to demonstrate the role that...

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