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Washington Overview

What is a Green Amendment?

Green Amendments are self executing provisions added to the bill of rights section of a constitution that recognize and protect the rights of all people, including future generations, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments.


What’s happening in Washington?

Representative Lekanoff

Green Amendments For The Generations has been working with our partners in Washington to spread the word about the values of having a Washington Green Amendment.  Currently efforts are focused on building a grassroots coalition of advocates and leaders seeking to secure this highest level of constitutional protection for environmental rights and environmental justice in the state of Washington.

The Washington Green Amendment 2024 has been filed and given number HJR4210.  In fact, Washington state is the first state in the nation to hold a Green Amendment hearing in 2024! Great Leadership!

The Washington Green Amendment, as proposed to date reads:


THAT, At the next general election to be held in this state the secretary of state shall submit to the qualified voters of the state for their approval and ratification, or rejection, an amendment to Article I of the Constitution of the state of Washington by adding a new section to read as follows:

Article I, section . . .. (1) The people of the state, including future generations, have the right to a clean and healthy environment, including pure water, clean air, healthy ecosystems, and a stable climate, and to the preservation of the natural, cultural, scenic, and healthful qualities of the environment.

(2) The state, including each political subdivision of the state, shall serve as trustee of the natural resources of the state, among them its waters, air, flora, fauna, soils, and climate. The state, including each political subdivision of the state, shall conserve, protect, and maintain these resources for the benefit of all the people, including generations yet to come.

(3) The rights stated in this section are inherent, inalienable, and indefeasible, are among those rights reserved to all the people, and are on par with other protected inalienable rights. The state, including each political subdivision of the state, shall equitably protect these rights for all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, geography, or wealth, and shall act with prudence, loyalty, impartiality, and equitable treatment of all beneficiaries in fulfilling its trustee obligations. The provisions of this section are self-executing.

Not sure what the Green Amendment will do or what to think about it, view Fact Sheets, FAQs, Webinars, Education Guides and more on our resources page.

To learn a little history about how we got here in Washington State:

Green Amendments For The Generations has been working closely with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). GAFTG Founder Maya van Rossum presented at NCEL’s 2019 annual conference to over 150 legislators, educating them on the value and power of a Green Amendment. This presentation inspired Representative Debra Lekanoff to consider such a provision for the people of Washington and begin working with GAFTG in close partnership to launch a WA Green Amendment Movement.

On February 9, 2021 Representative Lekanoff first introduced an amendment to the state constitution, enshrining the rights of all Washingtonians to clean water and air, a stable climate and healthy environment.  The proposed amendment received a well attended hearing in the House Environment & Energy Committee.  One year later, the amendment was re-proposed in 2022 and once again secured a meaningful hearing in the House Committee on Environment & Energy during which the amendment received robust support.  You can view the hearing here. The amendment did not advance for a vote of the Committee but progress in support of this powerful protection has continued to grow.  

Currently, Washington grassroots leaders and volunteers continue to build a growing collaboration of understanding and support for advancing constitutional environmental rights in the Washington state in the form of the Washington Green Amendment.


National Green Amendments Movement

Find out where else we are working.

Learn more about Green Amendments For the Generations at forthegenerations.org.