Last week, climate leaders from around the world met for the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. The summit brought together business leaders, state and local government representatives, researchers, investors, and non-profits to take part in a three-day meeting focused on clean energy systems, economic growth, building sustainable communities, and climate investments.
Several representatives from Washington State participated in the summit, announcing new commitments, actions, and collaborations during the event.
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Governor Jay Inslee was a prominent voice in several panels and conversations throughout the summit. He discussed the tech industry’s role in developing innovations to move toward cleaner energy and better efficiency and he participated in a panel focused on protecting ocean ecosystems. Inslee also highlighted the work of the U.S. Climate Alliance, where he is a co-chair, and announced new climate collaborations through the Pacific Coast Collaborative.
During the summit, Inslee also officially assumed the role of co-chair of the Under2 Coalition, a group of state and regional governments dedicated to keeping global temperature rises to under 2 degrees Celsius. Washington also joined the International ZEV Alliance and the Under2 Emission Vehicle Challenge.
Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz also participated in the climate action summit where her work focused on the priorities of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. On Wednesday, Franz and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird announced a collaboration focused on forest resilience and carbon sequestration.
The collaboration will revolve around wild fire management, forest restoration, forest responses to changing carbon, and opportunities for investments that increase carbon sequestration.
“Forest health, wildfire, and climate are intrinsically linked. As leaders on these issues, we see a role for our states to learn from each other and develop innovative solutions to our shared challenges,” said Commissioner Franz while announcing the collaboration. “We can and will make our communities, lands and waters more resilient, strengthening our economies and environment in the face of climate change.”
Outside of government officials, Washington State businesses also participated in the summit. During the first day of the climate meeting, Microsoft announced new partnerships and tools that the company is using to reduce their emissions and contribute to environmental research. Microsoft announced they will be piloting an open resource to track the carbon emissions of building materials in the hopes of reducing the emissions of their remodel. They also discussed the results of their AI for Earth program and announced new LinkedIn online training courses focused on the clean energy economy and sustainable business strategies.
Videos of keynotes and panels from the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit can be found here.