William McPherson, President UU Voices for Justice, Washington State
Senators: There is good news and bad news about Washington State emissions. At about 10 tons per person, we are well below the national average but we are still above our neighbors, OR, CA and BC. We are more than twice the world average (4.6 tons) and five times the average that scientists consider safe for climate stability (2 tons).
I was in Paris for the conclusion of the Paris Agreement and I can tell you that there was strong support throughout the world for climate stability. The High Ambition Coalition, including the U.S., pledged to keep increases in temperature “well below” 2 degrees C and to strive to keep below 1.5 C. This will require major efforts including a price on carbon, which is the intent of SB 6306, but it is not ambitious enough to support the U.S. pledge.
We have pledged to reduce emissions 24-28% by 2025, which would make a major contribution to the Paris Agreement provision of 2C.
In order to make a significant contribution to our efforts, we should put a price of at least $25 a ton, as in I-732. It the legislature does not pass I-732, it will be on the fall ballot. Please consider raising the tax to $25.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify.