Inslee meets with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet

Climate change, economic challenges, natural disaster response among topics discussed

Gov. Jay Inslee met Wednesday with President Michelle Bachelet of Chile in Seattle to discuss common interests between Washington state and Chile, including the importance of international collaboration on economic and environmental challenges.

Gov. Jay Inslee greeting President Bachelet in Seattle, Wash., June 7, 2017. (Official Governor’s Office Photo)

Bachelet and Inslee noted that global markets and international trade drive both their economies. They underscored the importance of innovation in technology to support a healthy economy and discussed the benefits of engaging universities and businesses to inform and drive this innovation.

“We hope this visit will further strengthen our ties and create more opportunities,” Bachelet said following the meeting. “We have spoken about regional projects in forestry and energy, particularly solar.”

Gov. Inslee and members of his cabinet meeting with President Michelle Bachelet and her staff in Seattle, Wash., June 7, 2017. (Official Governor’s Office Photo)

In their meeting at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Bachelet and Inslee noted the many similarities between Chile and Washington, including their extensive marine coastlines and natural resource economies.

They agreed on the importance of taking a global view to address climate change and ocean acidification. They noted that both nations were already seeing the early effects of climate change and that climate action is a leadership responsibility. They discussed the role and status of clean energy programs and carbon policies to address climate change.

“We had a great discussion about our mutual commitment to defeat climate change,” Inslee told members of the press following the meeting. “We reconfirmed the state of Washington’s commitment to meet obligations under the Paris agreement to defeat climate change. We explored ways that we could work together to share some research and take more shared action.”

President of Chile Michelle Bachelet during a press conference in Seattle, Wash., June 7, 2017. (Official Governor’s Office Photo)

The two leaders also compared their governments’ responses to recent wildfires and the preparations being made for earthquakes. They agreed to further discussions on prevention, response and recovery from natural disasters.

Inslee launched a Resilient Washington subcabinet last year to coordinate preparation and response to large-scale disasters. And after the historic wildfire season of 2015, Inslee convened a Wildland Fire Council to develop recommendations for better wildfire prevention, response and recovery.

Gov. Inslee and President Bachelet during their press conference in Seattle, Wash., June 7, 2017 (Official Governor’s Office Photo)