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Washington state has launched aı new “cap-and-invest” program to reduce carbon emissions and combat Climate change. Under the Climate Commitment Act, businesses emitting more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon per year will be required to pay for each metric ton of emissions. The program is expected to bring in $1 billion per year, with most of the funds being used for environmental programs. Washington now joins 14 other states in implementing a program that sets declining caps on emissions from companies, and the state’s cap-and-invest program closely resembles California’s cap-and-trade program.
While some companies, including BP, Tyson, and Boeing, will be required to pay for emissions immediately, others classified as “emissions-intensive, trade-exposed” businesses, such as pulp and paper mills, will be exempted to prevent large companies from leaving the state. The program creates a limited number of state-issued carbon permits to be auctioned four times a year to companies exceeding the 25,000-metric-ton threshold. The number of permits available at auctions will decrease every year, lowering the overall emissions cap in the state. Companies that choose not to comply will face a daily fine of $50,000 per violation.
Cap-and-trade programs have been viewed as an effective way to reduce emissions for decades. The Bush administration implemented the first cap-and-trade program on a large scale with the “Clear Skies Initiative,” aimed at reducing sulfur dioxide Pollution. However, some politicians oppose cap-and-trade programs, arguing that they will result in higher prices for consumers.
The Washington legislation states that 35 percent of the program’s proceeds will be reinvested into communities disproportionately affected by Pollution, and an additional 10 percent will go to Support tribal projects. The state’s aggressive emission goals aim to reduce emissions to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
As consumers, we can encourage companies to take action on Climate change by supporting businesses that prioritize sustainability and reduce our own carbon footprint. We can also advocate for government policies that promote sustainable practices and hold companies accountable for their environmental impact. By working together to combat Climate change, we can create a better future for ourselves and future generations.
Washington’s new “cap-and-invest” program is a significant step towards reducing carbon emissions and combating Climate change. Let’s Support this and similar programs by advocating for government policies that promote sustainable practices and supporting businesses that prioritize sustainability. Together, we can make a positive impact on the environment and create a better future for all.
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