Defend our Future: Don't Dismantle the Climate Commitment Act

Washington state's foundational climate law provides billions of dollars in resources for conservation and is under threat

As the snow melts and birdsong fills the air, hope for spring blossoms alongside a chilling reality: our climate crisis isn't waiting for the season to change. Washington's majestic landscapes, its abundant wildlife, and the very communities we call home are at a crossroads. But amidst the worry, there's a beacon of hope - the Climate Commitment Act (CCA). Now, that very hope is under attack, and we simply cannot afford to let it fall. 

The CCA isn't just a piece of legislation; it's a lifeline for our future. It sets a clear path towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, and protecting the natural world we cherish. Audubon Washington, representing birdwatchers, conservationists, and nature lovers across the state, stands firmly in defense of this crucial act. 

Opponents paint the CCA as a burden, but let's be clear: the real burden is doing nothing. Ignoring the climate crisis won't make it disappear. It will only lead to more devastating wildfires, sea-level rise, and disruptions to the ecosystems that sustain us. The longer we wait, the higher the cost – both financially and environmentally. 

Western Meadowlark. Photo: Evan Barrientos

Furthermore, the CCA isn't some abstract burden; it's a strategic investment in our future. It incentivizes clean energy innovation, creates green jobs, and fosters a healthier environment for all. It also addresses environmental justice concerns, ensuring that vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by climate change have a voice and see tangible benefits from the transition. 

For Washington's birds, the stakes are even higher. Rising temperatures disrupt migration patterns, threaten nesting grounds, and push species towards extinction.  

Ferruginous Hawk. Photo: Tim Boyer

Audubon’s own research had demonstrated the climate threats to Washington’s iconic birds from the Marbled Murrelet along our coasts, to the Ferruginous Hawk soaring over the shrub-steppe. Their future is directly linked to a stable climate. The CCA offers a chance to do our part to reverse this trend and bend the bird curve towards survival and resilience. 

Attacks on the CCA often focus on short-term costs, ignoring the long-term benefits. It's akin to refusing to fix a leaky roof because the repair bill seems high, only to watch your entire house rot away later. We must have the foresight to invest in solutions now, before the damage becomes irreversible. 

The CCA isn't perfect, but it's a vital step forward. We must defend it, work to improve it, and hold our elected officials accountable to its goals. We urge everyone to oppose Initiative 2117, which seeks to overturn the CCA. Let your family, friends, and peers know that their vote this November is critical for protecting our climate and our natural environment. For the sake of our birds, our communities, and the planet we call home, voice your support for the CCA, and demand climate action. 

Take a moment today to pledge your support for the No on I-2117 campaign. We’ll be in touch in the coming months with opportunities for you to take action and ensure Washington State keeps its climate commitments. 

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