Today in Trees: Inslee Signs Climate Coalition with UK, New Landmark EPA Limits

Trees around the Northwest are rejoicing at the influx of good green news today.

Locally, Governor Inslee has announced the signing of a new joint declaration with UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker. The declaration acts as the start of a new international partnership between Washington State and the UK to collaborate on a number of fronts in the effort to reduce the effects of climate change.

“Combatting climate change is a global challenge with very local impacts. It’s also an opportunity for us to lead the next technological revolution in clean energy,” said Governor Inslee in a press release attached to the declaration. “We welcome opportunities to learn from Minister Barker and the UK, and all our neighbors across the country and around the world who are developing ways to fuel our businesses and homes cleanly and sustainably.”

While the resolution does address six specific talking points the new coalition hopes to laser in on, it’s unclear what implications the declaration will have on actual policy making in the Northwest. The declaration establishes a schedule for “regular discussions” between the State of Washington and the Department of Energy and Climate Change of the UK to take place between September 2013 – March 2014, “with the intention of evaluating progress made and the benefits of continued coordination by April 30, 2014.”

In the words of local hip hop mystic Shabazz Palaces, “If you talk about it, it’s a show/ But if you move about it, then it’s a go.” Whether or not the coalition is a go or a show, we shall see, but more international collaboration on climate change is never a bad thing.

Nationally, the Environmental Protection Agency announced landmark carbon limit proposals on new power plants. The first major step towards promises the Obama Administration made in this summer’s climate speech, the limits will force the country to seriously consider new clean energy sources as old methods of coal-fired energy production becomes as costly to the coal industry as it is to the environment. While the proposal wouldn’t effect coal plants already in existance, it would force new plants to install “expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide and bury it underground,” Al Jazeera reports.

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