Jun 01, 2016

First Agreement Spotlights New Collaboration with Mayors; Second Agreement Serves to Step Up Previous Efforts in Light of COP21 Global Climate Accord 

SAN FRANCISCO – On behalf of a region of 53 million residents, three U.S. governors and the B.C environment minister joined the mayors of six major West Coast cities to announce the Pacific North America Climate Leadership Agreement at the Clean 

graphic_blog_post_PCC_sign2.jpgEnergy Ministerial (CEM7) today. Leaders from the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC)—a partnership between California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia—teamed up with mayors from Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Oakland, and Vancouver—all members of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance—to approve the pact to move the region’s clean energy economy forward. With a combined GDP of USD $2.8 trillion, the Pacific North America region represents the world’s fifth largest economy.

The West Coast leaders announced the state-cities agreement as a part of the subnational portion of the Ministerial. Today andtomorrow, energy ministers, elected officials, business leaders, and other high-level delegates from 23 countries and the European Commission are working to fulfill the pledges they made last December at the COP21 global climate change talks in Paris with clean energy policy commitments.

The Pacific Coast Collaborative-cities agreement outlines areas of cooperation to slash greenhouse gas emissions and advance a clean energy economy, with a focus on energy systems, buildings, transportation, and waste management. As climate change requires decisive action at the subnational level to realize the promise of the Paris accord, cities, states, and provinces are acting with a growing recognition that they have a unique role to play in executing the wide-ranging solutions advanced in the agreement.

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Key provisions of the agreement include: 

  1. implementing energy data reporting and benchmarking for at least 75 percent of eligible large building square footage; 
  2. expanding consumer, municipal, utility, and private sector adoption of zero-emission vehicles and development of a Pacific Coast electric vehicle charging network from Southern California to British Columbia; 
  3. accelerating the deployment of distributed, community-scale renewable energy, integrated into the grid, including lowering the carbon intensity of heating fuels in commercial and residential buildings; and 
  4. reducing carbon emissions from the food waste stream by preventing and recovering organic waste and promoting composting.

Also during CEM7 this afternoon, the PCC leaders will meet to sign the Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan, an update to the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, which the leaders signed in 2013. In the accord, the four leaders will update their previous action plan with increasingly bold goals to reflect the need for decisive action in light of the COP21 global climate agreement. The Action Plan of 2016 has a stronger emphasis than in the past on issues including ocean acidification; the integration of clean energy into the power grid; support for efforts by the insurance industry and regulatory system to highlight the economic costs of climate change; and so-called “super pollutants” (also known as short-lived climate pollutants). The Action Plan also promotes more resilient communities in the face of a changing climate, with a focus on disadvantaged residents who bear the brunt of climate change impacts.

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Statements from PCC leaders follow:

“California is now part of a worldwide movement of states and provinces that have committed themselves to combating climate change.” –Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of California

“Oregon took action this year to create a vision of a future free of coal-powered electricity, a testament to our commitment to reduce global carbon emissions. The Pacific Coast region is leading the fight against climate change, and our partnership demonstrates that we’re even more powerful when we collaborate.” –Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon

“We’re proud of our region’s clean economy, which already employs more than half a million workers. We see these agreements as a pathway towards a clean energy economy and the jobs of the future.” –Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington

 “British Columbia and our West Coast partners have demonstrated to the world how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to grow the economy. B.C.'s carbon tax remains the highest and most comprehensive in North America while we lead Canada in job growth and economic performance. We will build on momentum gained from the Paris agreement by not only continuing to reduce emissions at home, but also by helping other countries transition away from dirty fossil fuels.” –Mary Polak, British Columbia Environment Minister 

Statement from CEM7 host and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee follows:

“San Francisco is pleased to host the 7th Annual Clean Energy Ministerial, and showcase our City’s commitment to providing real solutions to climate change and pushing a climate action agenda that helps San Francisco reach our ambitious goals for a more sustainable future. These actions cannot wait; San Francisco and cities worldwide must continue to lead by taking bold actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately.”

Statement from Mike Mielke, Senior Vice President, Environment & Energy, Silicon Valley Leadership Group follows:

“Silicon Valley Leadership Group supports bringing clean and efficient energy to scale to meet the needs of a 21st century economy. Innovation fuels Silicon Valley. On behalf of more than 400 Silicon Valley employers, we know we can tackle the climate crisis, and we support agreements to hasten the transition to a cleaner future.”

Statement from Anne Kelly, Director, Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) at CERES follows:

“BICEP companies come together to support strong action on climate because they already have seen the impacts of climate change and understand the need for real leadership. The Pacific Coast region is proving that comprehensive climate action and economic success are linked, not in conflict."

The two climate agreement announcements will be live-streamed via Periscope from @PCCLeads from 9:25-9:45 AM and 3:30-4:00 PM Pacific Time.