US governors forge Pacific climate deal with Canadian governor

30 Oct 2013

US governors from the states of California, Massachusetts and Oregon have signed a climate change and energy pact with the Governor of British Columbia, Canada, the Pacific climate deal. The four governors represent about 53m people spanning their jurisdictions in the US and Canada.

They inked the petition in San Francisco, California, on 28 October 2013, as part of the fourth annual Leaders’ Forum of the Pacific Coast Collaborative.

As per Action Point 3 in the plan, the leaders of California, British Columbia, Oregon and Washington indicated that they were affirming the “scientific consensus on the human causes of climate change and its very real impacts”.

This is especially in light of the most recently documented information by scientists around the world in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report released in September 2013.

The governors also cited other reports, such as the Scientific Consensus on Maintaining Humanity’s life Support Systems in the 21st Century.

They said governmental actions should be “grounded” in this “scientific understanding” of climate change.

In the preamble, the governors also cited the Memorandum to Establish the Pacific Coast Collaborative of June 2008, as provided for in Article 6.

“It is affirming our shared vision of Pacific North America as a model of innovation that sustains our communities and creates jobs and new economic opportunities for our combined population of 53m,” they said.

In the preamble, they also cited how they recognised that the Pacific Coast is a region bound together by a “common geography, shared infrastructure and a regional economy” with a combined GDP of US$2.8trn, which makes it the world’s fifth largest regional economy.

In the action plan, the governors also drew attention to how states and provinces around the world are “battling climate change through technology innovation”. They said such actions limit greenhouse-gas emissions and other air pollution while creating economic growth, consumer savings and new jobs.

In addition, the action plan harked back to the findings of the 2012 West Coast Clean Economy report, which forecast 1.03m new jobs in “key” sectors, such as energy efficiency and advanced transportation.

This, of course, is assuming the right policy environment is in place.

Powell Hyde cable car image via Pius Lee/

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic