Climate Commitment Act: Polluters pay, communities benefit

In 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Climate Commitment Act (CCA). The CCA created a market-based cap-and-invest program to require the state's largest polluters to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The CCA is being put to work across Washington to benefit families, schools, workers and more.

Pollution payments are reinvested in Washington’s neighborhoods and communities

CCA-supported projects will:

Protect student health and safety

  • Safer sidewalks and crosswalks for those who walk or roll to school
  • Energy upgrades and solar projects for school buildings to improve indoor air quality and comfort
  • Grants to help school districts purchase electric school buses and charging infrastructure to replace diesel-powered school buses that increase childhood asthma rates

Reduce indoor air pollution and energy costs

  • Expansion of the state’s weatherization program for thousands of low-income families to improve comfort and reduce utility bills
  • Tens of thousands of heat pump installations in homes and apartments to eliminate toxic methane leaks and reduce indoor pollution
  • Provide $200 electric utility rebates to 750,000 (or one out of every three) low- and medium-income households in September 2024

Reduce outdoor air pollution for workers and overburdened communities

  • Workplace health and safety programs for outdoor workers exposed to extreme heat or wildfire smoke
  • Air quality improvement in overburdened communities to reduce asthma and other diseases caused by toxic carbon emissions
  • Support for transitioning to zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles and drayage trucks – these will replace polluting diesel-powered trucks that are often routed through low-income communities
  • Grants to build up shore power at ports so idling ships don’t burn bunker fuel and emit toxic emissions in nearby communities
  • More trees in urban areas to reduce the impact of dangerous heat waves

Expand clean transportation options that reduce dirty smog

  • Historic new funding for transit, including free transit and ferry rides for all youth under 18
  • Funding for thousands of new electric vehicle charging stations across Washington state
  • Conversion of two state ferries to hybrid-electric engines and a new electric ferry for Anacortes-Guemes Island

Additional funding information:

Click the map on the left for a full-screen view of where climate-related projects and programs are currently underway. Click the map on the right for an interactive map where you can view stories showing projects in action.

Map view of climate-related projects currently underway
Full-screen view of climate-related projects currently underway
Map of Washington state highlighting climate action projects
Interactive map of climate-related projects with videos of visits by Gov. Inslee


    How it works: Capping pollution, investing in Washington neighborhoods and communities

    The CCA created a market-based cap-and-invest program designed to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. It works in two ways:

    • Climate pollution is capped and reduced. The largest polluters in Washington state are required to purchase allowances -- the more they pollute, the more they must purchase. Over time as the cap on pollution goes down, fewer allowances are available. Polluters must find ways to operate more cleanly. This is the “cap” in cap-and-invest.
    • The state reinvests payments from polluters back into communities. CCA funding helps more Washingtonians switch to climate-friendly options for their homes, schools, businesses, vehicles, and more. This is the “invest” in cap-and-invest.

    The CCA also serves as a clean air program. A 2023 report by the Department of Ecology identified 16 communities in Washington state where air pollution is among the factors that make people sicker and die an average of 2.4 years earlier.

    The Department of Ecology administers the CCA. Multiple agencies receive CCA funding to administer programs and projects.