Submitted by Ceres
More than 20 major companies, healthcare systems and large energy consumers on the Pacific Coast declared their support today for expanding cap-and-invest programs to scale up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the region.
Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft, Providence St. Joseph Health and Uber are among the group that sent a letter to administrative and legislative leaders in California, Oregon and Washington commending their regional coordination and urging the expansion of carbon markets along the Pacific Coast as a way to drive economic growth, improve public health and protect the region’s iconic natural resources.
“Market-based cap-and-invest policy initiatives have proven to be highly effective in reducing GHG emissions, while fostering economic growth and spurring innovation,” the signatories wrote. “Adding more states to the region’s linked carbon market will provide cost-effective emissions reductions for all. With a vanishing window in which to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, maximizing the economic efficiency of GHG reductions is critical for expediting the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Both the Oregon and Washington legislatures will consider legislation this year to adopt a market-based mechanism to reduce GHG emissions, called a cap-and-invest program. The legislatures could also explore whether to link their program to the regional Western Climate Initiative (WCI) program, which is a collaboration of state carbon pricing programs including California and Quebec. Linking carbon programs across jurisdictions creates a larger, more economically diverse market that provides flexibility for companies to find the least-cost option to reduce emissions and incentivizes innovation in the private-sector.
“Climate action has never been more important. Collaborating on a regional, market-based approach to curbing GHG emissions will help to tackle climate change while growing the economy—ensuring the businesses and people of California, Oregon and Washington are able to thrive for years to come,” said Vince Digneo, sustainability strategist at Adobe.
“As a company with significant presence in Oregon and California, we believe these states can and should lead to incent businesses to reduce their emissions and accelerate a low-carbon future. The best solution is to put a price on carbon.” said Lynelle Cameron, vice president of sustainability at Autodesk. “We have seen firsthand how implementing an internal price on carbon can help to integrate the cost of carbon pollution into our business decisions. Market-based approaches, such as cap-and-invest programs, are an essential part of effective climate policy and key to helping U.S. businesses tackle the urgent challenge of climate change.”
The Pacific Coast has already seen the economic benefits of decarbonization. Since 2008, the region has reduced GHGs by 10% while growing the regional GDP by 48% and creating more than 650,000 clean energy jobs.
“Putting a price on carbon is a critical tool for reducing carbon and other harmful pollutants, as well as for protecting public health from the worst impacts of a changing climate. Cap-and-invest policies, along with robust air quality standards, renewable energy and energy efficiency incentives, and investment in infrastructure and community resilience, are climate and health solutions we must implement now,” said Robyn Rothman, climate and health policy manager at Health Care Without Harm, and lead for the California and Washington Health Care Climate Alliances.
“Successful carbon pricing examples from California and the Northeast show that curbing emissions and growing the economy do in fact go hand in hand,” said Alli Gold Roberts, director of state policy at Ceres. “The Pacific Northwest has a tremendous opportunity this year to adopt an economy-wide program and lead on bold state climate action.”
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
About Health Care Without Harm
Health Care Without Harm seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice.
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and human rights abuses.
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