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Washington Gives Climate Voice to Citizens

Washington is the first U.S. state to hold a climate assembly.

Washington state has established a new assembly that will allow 80 randomly-selected members of the public to have a direct say on climate matters in the state. The assembly is constituted to develop pollution solutions and deliberate on environmental issues at large.

Members of the assembly will be learning about climate change and discussing the issue, and are required to provide recommendations to the state legislature by March.

Although concerns over climate change have been growing worldwide, a recent study shows that Americans are more divided on the subject than they have ever been. Pew Research Center found that 78 percent of Democrats cite climate change as a top priority, while only 21 percent of Republicans have the same opinion.

“One fact that has become clear is that the polarized nature of this debate harms us all,” said State Rep. Jake Fey, a Democrat from Tacoma. “This issue cannot be another ‘us versus them’ issue, because it affects us all.”

“It’s going to hinge on getting people from different ideological perspectives to talk and be informed and come to some consensus,” Fey added.

With the formation of the country’s first climate assembly in Washington, the state hopes to develop innovative solutions for pollution and educate more people about the real consequences of climate change.



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