Testimony at Department of Ecology Clean Air Rule Hearing
I am William McPherson, President of the board of Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice. I am a retired diplomat. I would like to set context for the Clean Air Rule at the global, national and state levels.
The US agreed with 194 other countries on the Paris Agreement. Our pledge (Nationally Determined Contribution) is too weak, and along with other pledges will lead to 3.2 degree increase; instead 26-28% by 2025 US should pledge 40%.
To reach our stated goal of “less than 2 degrees,” the world is obligated to stay within a carbon budget of 1000 gigatons. Human induced emissions have amounted to 600 gigatons so far, leaving 400 gigatons, which at current rates (10 gigatons per year) would be exhausted in 40 years, by 2057. Reductions must accelerate.
How do we fit this budget? Washington is at 3 tonnes per person per year, which is better than U.S. average 6, but we are at more than twice world average (1.3), and at five times level advocated by science, 0.6 tonnes per capita.
If a carbon budget target were to be realized, we would need to reduce at a much more ambitious rate. It is a moral obligation for us to approach reductions not only in terms of tonnage in state reduction but also in terms of tonnage per person. I urge ECY to analyze and report the effect of the rule on tonnage per person.