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Northwest Governors Take On International Climate Policy In Germany

Office of the governor
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, speaking at the lecturn, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, far left, are set to attend a UN climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are set to take part in an international conference on climate change Bonn, Germany. Brown and Inslee were invited to the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference by Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who is presiding over conference proceedings this year.

In 2015, nearly 200 countries started working to develop guidelines to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global climate change. But this summer, the Trump administration pulled the United States out of what’s known as the Paris Agreement.

In response, Inslee joined forces with other state governors to form the U.S. Climate Alliance, which remains committed to upholding provisions of the Paris Agreement.

“Our message is we’re still in and we’re in big time,” Inslee said.

The Alliance includes leaders from 13 other states and Puerto Rico.

“We represent 40 percent of the entire United States economy,” Inslee said. “If we were a nation, we’d be the third largest economy in the world.”

Inslee will join Brown and other Climate Alliance leaders to talk about how climate change is impacting states. Inslee said he’ll touch on ocean acidification, increasing wildfire, impacts on agriculture and business.

How much the trip will cost the state of Washington is unknown. But Inslee said he thinks it’s worth it.

“The assets of the state of Washington—our forest, Puget Sound, our agricultural industry, the health of the air our kids breathe—this is an investment that’s worthwhile,” he said.