Washington

Washington has been a leader in climate policy, most recently passing ambitious climate and environmental justice legislation in 2021.

Legislative Profile

Governor: Jay Inslee (D)

House: Democratic majority

Senate: Democratic majority

U.S. Climate Alliance Member

Key Resources

Emissions Reduction Targets

By 2030:

45%

By 2040:

70%

By 2050:

95%

By 2050:

Net-zero economy

All targets relative to 1990 levels

2019 GHG Emissions By Sector (%)

  • Commercial
  • Electric
  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
Source: EPA State Inventory Tool (SIT)

Use the + icons in each policy area below to explore climate policy that has been passed at the state level, with links to relevant legislation and trackers. Policies in gray have not yet been passed in this state.

Climate Governance & Equity

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Climate Governance

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Emissions Reduction Target

45% by 2030 | 70% by 2040 | 95% by 2050 | net-zero economy by 2050 Relative to 1990 levels

Mandate Source

Mandatory – Chapter 79, Laws of 2020 (2020)

Climate Action Plan

Washington State Energy Strategy (2021)

Plan Status

Finalized

Climate Bureaucracy

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

1990-2018 GHG Emissions Inventory (January 2021)

Mandate Source

RCW 70A.45.020 (2010)

Green Bank

Lead by Example

ACEEE Score – 2 out of 2 points**

Public Fleet ZEV Requirements

Executive Order 21-04 (2021) – For the state’s passenger and light-duty vehicle fleet: 40% are BEVs by 2025 | 75% are BEVs by 2030 | 100% are BEVs by 2035
For the state’s medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fleet: 50% are BEVs by 2030 | 75% are BEVs by 2035 | 100% are BEVs by 2040

Equity

Environmental Justice Community Designation

Mandate Source

RCW 70A.02.010 (2021)

Definition

“Overburdened communities” are defined as areas where vulnerable populations face multiple environmental harms and health impacts or risks, including communities whose health is highly impacted by fossil fuel pollution and climate change, and census tracts located on “Indian country”.

Include race? Yes | Include income? Yes | Include pollution burden? Yes

State EJ Mapping Tools

EJ Community Benefit Requirement

SB 5126 (2021) – 35%, with a goal of 40%, of revenue to overburdened communities and 10% to Indian tribes

EJ Bureaucracy

**The ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard analyzes the policies and programs states adopt to save energy in public sector buildings and transportation fleets. States can earn up to 2 points.

Adaptation & Resilience

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Governance and Planning

Governance Structures

Office Designation

DNR Chief Resilience Officer

Task Force/Advisory Group

SSB 5106 (2019) – Natural Disaster and Resiliency Activities Work Group

Cabinet Commissions and Committees

Resilient Washington State Subcabinet

Adaptation and Resilience Plans

Climate Hazard Mitigation Plans

Solutions and Funding

Building Codes, Land Use, and Zoning

Built/Hard Infrastructure

Grid Resilience Measures

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

State Funding

Electricity

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Renewables and Energy Storage

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Target

15% renewable by 2020 | 100% greenhouse gas neutral by 2030 | 100% renewable or zero-emitting energy by 2045

Legislation

SB 5116 (2019)

Distributed Generation/Solar Carve-out

SPOT Components – 0 out of 5*

Net Metering

SPOT Components – 8 out of 11*

Energy Storage Standard

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Shared Renewables

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Grid and Utility Reform

Clean Energy Plan

Washington 2021 State Energy Strategy (2020)

Mandate Source

SB 5116 (2019)

Grid Modernization Plan

The GridWise Alliance’s Grid Modernization Index (GMI) evaluates and ranks the status of grid modernization efforts across all 50 states and D.C.

50-state Ranking – 22nd

Interconnection Standards

SPOT Components – 6 out of 6*

Utility Green Power Option

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

New Utility Business Model Proceeding

SPOT Components – 0 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Scheduled for 2023 (Climate Commitment Act, 2021)

Buildings & Efficiency

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Building Energy Codes

Residential Codes

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Statewide code – Washington State Energy Code (2021)

Commercial Codes

SPOT Components – 4 out of 6*

Statewide code – Washington State Energy Code (2019)

Stretch or Reach Codes

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Efficiency Programs and Incentives

Weatherization Programs

SPOT Components – 4 out of 4*

Energy Auditing Programs

Retrocommissioning Programs

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

SPOT Components – 0 out of 10*

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

SPOT Components – 4 out of 5*

Standards and Market Mechanisms

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

SPOT Components – 4 out of 5*

Building Performance Standard (BPS)

WAC 194-50 (2020) – Applies to commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square

SB 5722 (2022) – Applies to buildings larger than 20,000 square feet

Appliance Performance Standard (APS)

RCW § 19.260.010 – Appliance standards for 23 products

HB 1619 (2022) – Updates three existing appliance standards and creates three new ones: air purifiers, commercial ovens, and EVSE

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Scheduled for 2023 (Climate Commitment Act, 2021)

Buildings Data Disclosure

Transportation

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Vehicle Standards and Incentives

Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandates

Washington ZEV Program

EV Targets and Sales Requirements

SB 5974 (2022) – By 2030: 100% of passenger and light-duty vehicles sold or registered in the state are electric vehicles

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle (MHDVs) Sales Standards

Washington ZEV Program

EV Sales Requirements

Electric Vehicle Incentives

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Charging Infrastructure Incentives

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Scheduled for 2023 (Climate Commitment Act, 2021)

Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)

State Planning and Investment

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Decarbonization Plan

EV and EV Charging Infrastructure Plans

EV Transit Bus Deployment

The ACEEE Transportation Electrification Scorecard analyzes the level of investment and policies states adopt to procure electric transit buses. States can earn up to 6 points.

ACEEE Score – 2 out of 6 points

Bicycle Friendly State

The League of American Bicyclists’ State Report Cards evaluate and rank the safety and efficiency of active transportation systems across all 50 states.

50-state Ranking – 3rd

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Agriculture

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Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture Governance

Mandate Source

SB 6306 (2020)

Task Force Portal or Action Plan

Established the Washington Soil Health Initiative (SHI), a partnership jointly administered by Washington State University, the Washington Department of Agriculture, and the State Conservation Commission (SCC)

Washington Soil Health Roadmap (2021)

Financial Incentives

SB 5947/HB 2095 (2019) – Sustainable Farms and Fields Grant Program

HB 2713 (2020) – Relating to encouraging compost procurement and use

Technical Assistance and Education Programs

SB 6306 (2020) – Washington Soil Health Initiative

Food Waste Bans and Targets

Food Waste Reduction Target – 75% by 2030 Relative to 2015 levels

Mandate Source

HB 1799 (2022)

Industry, Materials, and Waste Management

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Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Regulations

HFC Regulations

HB 1050 (2021)

Methane Regulations

SF6 Regulations

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Scheduled for 2023 (Climate Commitment Act, 2021)

Buy Clean Requirements

HB 1080 (2021) – Funds the creation of a database to track building materials purchased for state-funded infrastructure projects and two large Buy Clean and Buy Fair pilot projects

What are we missing? Let us know!

Last Updated June 2022