Sharing Washington state’s story of innovation, success with the world

In Davos, Inslee relays vision of a clean-energy future, discusses economic development with business leaders

Gov. Jay Inslee is interviewed by CNN’s Richard Quest on Thursday while attending World Economic Forum events in Davos, Switzerland. Inslee was the only U.S. governor to attend the annual WEF meeting this year. (Governor’s Office photo)

This week, Gov. Jay Inslee met with several world leaders and CEOs and spoke at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Inslee has spoken at previous WEF events about Washington’s culture of innovation and inclusiveness. The Davos meeting was an opportunity for Inslee to tell that story on a global stage and promote the state’s growing economy and forward-looking policy efforts.

Right: Gov. Jay Inslee participates in a discussion about climate action at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. He is joined by, from left, Mission 2020 Convenor Christiana Figueres, moderator Michael Hanley, and Royal DSM CEO Feike Sybesma. Left: Inslee speaks during a conversation on “Stepping Up Climate Action,” an event featuring former Vice President Al Gore, Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, AXA CEO Thomas Buberl, and SIPA Environmental Fellow Risalat Khan. (Governor’s Office photo)

In his remarks, the governor discussed how Washington state is addressing the challenges of the era of accelerated technology by choosing openness and actively pursuing and cultivating three focus areas: talent, connectivity and innovation. He said Washington is proving to the world that we can have a strong economy while simultaneously promoting social justice and preserving the environment.

Inslee also spoke about Washington state’s efforts to combat climate change through the United States Climate Alliance. He did so while participating on a panel titled, “How Do We Stop at Two Degrees?” and during another discussion on “Stepping Up Climate Action.”

(World Economic Forum video)

“What we have learned is that acting to develop a clean-energy economy actually enhances your economic productivity,” Inslee said. “And that makes sense, because at least in my state — which is a technologically adept, innovative state — every time there is an economic transformation, we have grown our economy. When we went from propeller planes to jets, we grew our economy. When we went from an analog system to a digital system in software, we grew our economy. And now we’re going to decarbonize our economy.”

While in Davos, Inslee also discussed economic development opportunities with several CEOs and business executives. He spoke with CNBC about meeting with executives who are interested in making investments in clean energy in Washington state.

The governor also spoke with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. They discussed strategies to address the climate crisis and other important topics such as clean energy, innovation and electric ferries.

Inslee previously participated in WEF events in San Francisco and New York City.

Gov. Jay Inslee talks to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland during the 2018 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting (Governor’s Office photo)