Climate & Clean Energy
WEC has adopted a five‐year Climate and Clean Energy Agenda, a long‐term commitment to move the dial on state policy to reduce emissions, use energy efficiently, transition to clean energy, and set limits on global warming pollution that drive a clean energy future. WEC is partnering closely with Climate Solutions and Sightline Institute in this work.
Orienting our policy work around long-term agendas recognizes that making progress on some of our biggest environmental challenges and opportunities requires political will that does not exist today. The failure of the U.S. Senate to pass a comprehensive climate bill and our own experience in working to move comprehensive climate legislation through the state legislature has helped shape this conviction.
To get to the goals laid out in our agenda, we will employ a variety of tactics – from legislation, to policymaking, to ballot measures, to legal action. All this work will be aimed at getting us to long-term outcomes that include:
- Washington meets or exceeds its 2020 emission reduction commitments and those commitments are updated to reflect best science
- Washington, through state actions and regional partnerships, has helped achieve an economy-wide cap on carbon at the federal level that drives emissions reductions.
- A majority of voter and key societal institutions support limiting carbon emissions and investing in the transition to clean, efficient energy as economically beneficial.
We know that the art of change is about threading the needle with a string of incremental steps that ultimately make transformational policies possible. We also know that we must be ready to take advantage of windows in time when big shifts suddenly become possible. And we know that changing hearts and minds—with old-fashioned organizing and new-fangled tools—will be key to our success, and will require a systematic approach.
Our Agenda will be built around three key elements:
- Use Energy Efficiently. We will work to remove barriers and provide incentives for the efficient use of energy, especially in buildings. We will pursue policies that make energy efficiency the most profitable source of new energy.
- Transition to Clean Energy. We will work to increase economically-smart renewable energy development in Washington, and increase the use of renewable energy relative to fossil fuels.
- Keep Pressure on the Federal Government to Limit Carbon Emissions. We will work at the state level, and at the regional level through the Western Climate Initiative, to implement enforceable limits on greenhouse gas emissions and keep the pressure on the federal government to adopt an effective program to limit carbon emissions.
We are excited to renew our commitment to achieving real progress for climate protection and clean energy, more strategically and with deeper partnerships.