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Washington’s cap on carbon is raising billions for climate action. Can it survive the backlash?

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Grist or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Washington’s “cap-and-invest” system, part of the Climate Commitment Act, has generated $2.2 billion for climate change action since its implementation
However, it faces potential repeal due to a backlash, largely over increased gas prices
A repeal initiative funded by hedge fund manager Brian Heywood could reach voters in November, potentially dismantling the law and preventing similar future measures

🔭 The context: The Climate Commitment Act, effective since 2021, sets a statewide greenhouse gas emission limit, reducing over time
It allows businesses to buy allowances for their carbon emissions, encouraging emission reductions and generating funds for climate initiatives
This system, similar to California's, aims to cut Washington's emissions by nearly half by 2030, using 1990 levels as a baseline

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The revenue from this program funds various climate and clean energy efforts, such as solar projects and electric vehicle incentives, significantly contributing to reducing emissions
 The law's success or failure could influence other states’ decisions on similar climate policies, with potential ripple effects on national and global climate action strategies

⏭️ What's next: The fate of Washington’s climate law is pivotal. If it survives, it could encourage other states to adopt similar measures. However, its repeal might deter states from enacting stringent carbon-cutting laws
The situation underscores the need for clear communication and tangible demonstration of such policies' benefits

💬 One quote: “This is going to force us to do a better job communicating and defending our policies,” (Joe Nguyễn, Washington State Senator and Chair of the Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee)

📈 One stat: Washington’s gas prices soared to $4.91 a gallon in June, the highest in the country, partially attributed to the state’s carbon pricing program

Click for more news covering the latest on carbon

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