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Sunday, December 3, 2023
Dec. 3, 2023

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Ecology seeks input on carbon linkage idea

By , Columbian staff writer

The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public input on its consideration to link the state’s carbon market with similar markets in California and Quebec.

Washington’s carbon pricing structure, formed from the 2021 Climate Commitment Act, offers the state’s largest polluters greenhouse gas allowances through a cap-and-invest program, which become more limited over time. Officials deem it the most efficient path to lowering carbon pollution, estimating the program will eliminate most of Washington’s emissions by 2050.

This model mirrors California and Quebec’s program structure, which were both created in 2013 and connected in 2014. According to Ecology, linking Washington’s carbon market to its predecessors’ would establish joint allowance auctions, which the agency says could expand emissions reductions and further sustain the program.

Individuals may submit comments online through Ecology’s website, via email to CCAlinkage@ecy.wa.gov or voicemail at 425-466-5358. Feedback can also be mailed to Stephanie Potts at Washington Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504.

Washington will make a decision as soon as this summer, though the linkage would not happen until at least 2025. If approved, California and Quebec will evaluate whether to opt into the partnership.

Visit the state Department of Ecology’s website for more information about connecting carbon markets.

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