It is commonly known that increased energy use, wasted raw materials in landfills, and pollution have all been linked to global warming, but action to become more energy efficient initiatives have been slow.

On Monday, October 28, the governors of California, Oregon, and Washington came together with British Columbia’s environment minister to launch the Pacific Coast Climate Action Plan on Climate and Energy, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Instead of waiting for Congress to implement stricter caps on carbon emissions, these four territories decided to change the lives for the 53 million people they serve.

“While the process in Washington, D.C., is strangled by climate deniers, there is no denying the fact that the West Coast is rip-roaring and ready to go,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said during the announcement.

Though California has been working to improve the amount of waste the state emits through electric vehicles and the state’s cap-and-trade law to limit carbon pollution in factories and oil companies, this agreement could be influential for other states and nations in the near future.

“It’s only the beginning. You just watch,” California Governor Jerry Brown explained. “Next year and the year after and the year after that, this will spread until finally we get a real handle and grasp on what is the world’s greatest existential challenge — the stability of our climate, on which we all depend.”

Though details of this pact are still in the works, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Annie Notthoff offered insight on what is to be expected of these territories and the possible challenges they face to increase eco-friendly action.

Believing that the use of cleaner energy sources is the most affordable way to reverse the effects of climate change, the Pacific Coast Climate Action Plan on Climate and Energy is expected to be extremely beneficial to the local environments and the economy. In 2012, when the West Coast Economy Report began, it paved the way for more than 1 million jobs.

Low-carbon fuel standards
Tighter limits on carbon emissions on power plants may make it even harder for businesses to build future coal-fired plants. The pact is intended to continue exploration of cleaner fuels.

Cap-and-trade programs
Though this is already a California state law, Washington and Oregon have experienced difficulty passing similar bills in the past. In Washington for example, the local Senate is controlled by politicians who have opposed this plan.

Cleaner electricity
Some communities in these states rely on coal to power homes and businesses, so the pact calls for “use of the region’s diverse and renewable resources,” instead of relying on coal. However, it is equally important to be using energy from sources that can provide the same amount, if not more processes.

What can startups in northern California do to help?
Looking forward, businesses that want to do their part to reduce overall waste may want to consider filling office spaces with used office furnishings. These products are just as durable as brand new pieces and are typically of a very high quality.  By purchasing pre-owned, you keep for example used work stations out of landfills and thus help reduce the overall consumption of usable goods.