November 30, 2015
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Gov. Inslee heads to Paris for international carbon and climate change conference

Gov. Jay Inslee will leave Friday to attend the global climate change conference in Paris. He will be part of a State Department sponsored group, but The Seattle Times reports that he will not be part of the actual negotiations among the 190-plus nations working on a global climate change pact. During his four days in Paris, Inslee will attend meetings and talk about Washington’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. He’ll also meet with high-tech, clean energy companies that are interested in doing business in Washington.

The Times notes that Washington already benefits from a low carbon footprint due to an abundance of hydropower. A new report confirms that Washington’s carbon emissions continue to plummet as natural gas and energy efficiency drive a lower-cost, lower-carbon future. Even without any new carbon control policies, Northwest electricity generation will decrease by 38 percent by 2035, continuing a trend that has already seen the state’s electrical system lower its carbon emissions by 18 percent below 1990 levels, according to the EPA.

Other state officials and citizens will be attending, including Bill Gates. The Microsoft co-founder has just announced the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a multi-billion dollar investment in market-driven solutions to fund clean energy investments. The coalition is powered by the principle that technology will help solve the world’s energy and climate issues – and that innovation will lower the cost of clean energy.

Throughout the Paris conference and beyond, AWB and the Washington Climate Collaborative will be highlighting Washington’s existing climate leadership, with low-carbon solutions from market innovation, not top-down government mandates. As the governor travels to Paris, he’d be doing a service by sharing that message with the world.

Be sure to follow the Washington Climate Collaborative on Twitter @WAclimate to learn more.

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Washington Is Already a Climate Leader

Low-Cost, Low-Carbon: The Northwest's 20-Year Energy Plan

By the Washington Climate Collaborative

The Northwest remains an attractive location for job creation due to its low-cost and low-carbon electricity -- companies want to locate here and workers want to work here. On the eve of Governor Inslee's trip to Paris for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, it's an opportunity for him to tout his own state's carbon-reduction leadership.

Rather than spending time focusing on complex, top-down regulatory schemes designed to drive up the cost of energy, leaders should find ways to encourage innovation and collaboration. If they do, Washington can make a great contribution to that discussion.

Click here to read the full blog post from the Washington Climate Collaborative
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Lawmakers should be beholden to what is best for students -- and that means a well-managed charter school system.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Columbian
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