Make climate investments from carbon credit auction count

Washington’s landmark cap-and-invest program has begun to generate revenue through its first auction on Feb. 28. More than 6 million credits — each equaling one metric ton of carbon — were auctioned off at $48.50 per credit, generating $300 million to be directly invested in climate solutions. It shouldn’t be overlooked that this will allow the Legislature to make historic investments in new programs and solutions that the state’s general operating and capital budgets would not have otherwise been able. The carbon reduction goals embedded in the law and future auctions will bring a resilient, thriving future within our reach.

In addition to revenue generation, the Climate Commitment Act holds our state accountable both to 1) doing our part to reduce emissions globally and reduce health-harming localized pollution, and 2) ensuring these benefits are felt at home by investing in local solutions for overburdened communities.

At The Nature Conservancy, we’re especially interested in how we can harness the inherent power of nature to mitigate climate change.

In Washington, we’ve identified areas of impact that have the most potential for achieving our reductions goals here at home: regenerative, climate-friendly agriculture; protecting and restoring forests and wetlands, natural carbon sequestration opportunities; and improving soil health. These will be essential tools, and the state Legislature should take the opportunity in this session to invest deeply in nature to move us forward.

David Mendoza

Nature Conservancy of Washington


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