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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

October 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM

West Coast governors, BC premier sign climate accord

The three West coast governors and the premier of British Columbia signed an agreement Monday to jointly attack climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The accord calls for Washington, Oregon, California and British Columbia to “account for the costs of carbon pollution,” which could include policies such as as cap-and-trade programs.

The agreement specifically says Washington “will set binding limits on carbon emissions and deploy market mechanisms to meet those limits.”

However, Jaime Smith, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jay Inslee said, “This is very much a statement of intent, it’s not a legally binding obligation.”

Cap-and-trade programs typically limit the amount of greenhouse gases industries can emit and set up a market for them to buy or sell credits, depending on whether their emissions are above or below the cap.

The leaders also committed to adopting low carbon fuel standards, among other things. That could include policies such as promoting the use of electric cars and alternative fuels.

You can read a news release about the agreement here.

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