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Document Code No.: PUT 7-9 (AEO)
Department/Issuing Agency: King County Executive
Effective Date:July 16, 2007
Approved: /s/ Ron Sims
Type of Action: New

Signed document (PDF, 1.42 MB)


This Order approves participation in the Cool Counties program, requiring King County Departments' implementation of an action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for projected regional effects of climate change.

WHEREAS, human emissions of greenhouse gases from activities such as burning of fossil fuel are driving dangerous global climate change, with negative consequences for regions across the world;

WHEREAS, Council Ordinance 11364 of 2000 and Executive Order PHL 10-1 (AEO) of 2002 approved King County's entrance into the Cities for Climate Protection campaign and directed King County's establishment of a greenhouse gas emissions inventory;

WHEREAS, in October 2005, King County hosted a national conference on the effects of climate change to the Pacific Northwest;

WHEREAS, in January 2006, the King County executive established an action team on climate change mitigation and adaptation;

WHEREAS, King County Executive Orders PUT 7-5, PUT 7-7 and PUT 7-8 required and empowered King County Departments to employ increasingly aggressive strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for regional climate change effects; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with King County Executive Orders PUT 7-5, PUT 7-7 and PUT 7-8 and King County Council Motion 12362, King County prepared the "2007 King County Climate Plan"; and

WHEREAS, the 2007 King County Climate Plan consists of greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies in transportation, land use and buildings, and clean energy investment based on King County and Puget Sound greenhouse gas emissions inventories;

WHEREAS, the 2007 King County Climate Plan reflects experts' predictions that climate change will result in warmer winter temperatures resulting in more precipitation falling as rain than snow, a continued snowpack decline, and an increase in winter streamflow and a decrease in summer streamflow; and

WHEREAS, the 2007 King County Climate Plan also reflects experts' projections that climate change will increase the frequency of flood events; result in greater shoreline erosion and nearshore habitat loss; alter contours of the shoreline due to rises in sea level; change the frequency, intensity and type of natural hazards faced by the Pacific Northwest; increase the frequency of drought events in the region resulting in a decline in firm yields from the region's water supply reservoirs and increase summer and fall demand for water; impact biodiversity and ecosystems; and exacerbate and create new threats to public health; and

WHEREAS, in its role as a regional government, King County has demonstrated significant corporate citizenship and public leadership in ways that are supportive of climate change mitigation and adaptation by employing critical policy levers of 1) land use, 2) public transit provision, 3) environmental management, and 4) economic development directed towards stimulating climate-friendly fuel and technology markets; and

WHEREAS, based on this leadership the King County council Ordinance 12362 required that King County executive develop a campaign of counties to reduce climate change emissions collectively, consistent with the understanding that local and regional governments across the world must act together to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions;

WHEREAS, this Order approves participation by King County in the Cool Counties program, requiring that King County Departments implement an action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for projected regional effects of climate change; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron Sims, King County Executive do hereby approve and direct King County to participate in the Cool Counties program, by making the following commitments:

King County will continue to take immediate steps to help the federal and state government and other governments within our county to achieve the 2050 climate stabilization goal, as set in the 2007 King County Climate Plan. Specifically, King County will:

i. Continue to update an inventory of our county government (operational) greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions and implement policies, programs and operations to achieve significant, measurable and sustainable reduction of those operational GHG emissions to help contribute to the regional reduction targets as identified in paragraph ii;

ii. Work closely with local, state, and federal governments and other leaders to reduce county geographical GHG emissions to 80 percent below current levels by 2050, by developing a GHG emissions inventory and regional plan that establishes short-, mid-, and long-term GHG reduction targets, with recommended goals to stop increasing emissions by 2010, and to achieve a 10 percent reduction every five years thereafter through to 2050.

iii. Urge Congress and the Administration to enact a multi-sector national program of requirements, market-based limits, and incentives for reducing GHG emissions to 80 percent below current levels by 2050. Urge Congress and the Administration to strengthen standards by enacting legislation such as a Corporate Average Fuel Economy ("CAFE") standard that achieves at least 35 miles per gallon (mpg) within 10 years for cars and light trucks.

King County will also continue to take immediate steps to identify regional climate change impacts, and will implement the 2007 King County Climate Plan, which outlines strategies to prepare for and build resilience to those impacts.

/s/ Ron Sims, King County Executive

ATTEST:

/s/ Sherrill Huff, Director
Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division