Gov. Jay Inslee participated in a discussion at Davos this week on climate change, where he was one of the only elected officials from the United States given a speaking role.
If one didn’t understand Inlsee’s commitment to “de-carbonizing our economy,” Inslee’s comments provide clarity about both his vision and his enthusiasm for the topic.
That enthusiasm apparently resonated at Davos. The World Economic Forum highlighted Inslee on their “Best of Day 3” page that included global figures like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and Malala Yousafzai, a human and women’s rights leader.
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Inslee was introduced as “one of the most influential politicians in the United States who is really doing all he possibly can to try to reverse the trajectory the US seems to be on… and let’s hope you do get that carbon tax through.”
Regarding a question about whether citizens in the US are becoming more aware of the changes of climate change, he said it was happening more rapidly than most would think.
“Eight Republicans in California voted for Jerry Brown’s cap and trade system. I went and met them and asked them why. Their leader of the senate said ‘Our party, we concluded, was going to go extinct if we didn’t pull our heads out of the sand… and start to get involved in the solution. Why? Because this generation coming up behind us is 99% in favor of doing something about this.’ So if you want to have a viable political party, you need to start engaging in a solution.”
While there, Inslee connected the dots between the work in the legislature on the carbon tax to the broader global action on climate change. He also noted that 40% of the US economy, committed through actions by states and their governors, are committed to continue working to implement the Paris Accords.
Since (President Trump) announced that he wanted to take us out of Paris, not one single nation, state, province, or city has followed him… There is only one man in this parade, and no one has followed him… and we should celebrate it.
Since he made this announcement, three Republican governors have joined, what Governor Brown and I have started, the United States Climate Alliance. We have 15 states now, including three Republicans who have committed to the Paris Accord, and we’re all doing our best to make sure that happens. And by the way, this alliance is not a small thing. It represents 40% of the United State economy. 40% of the United States economy is in the Paris Agreement and is active. We would be the third largest economy in the world if we were a separate nation, and I’m not suggesting that for the moment. So, the message here in Davos is we are here, we are not giving up. The United States Climate Alliance is on the move.