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County Council calls for Executive to consider specific climate actions in Strategic Climate Action Plan

Summary

Motion calls for inclusion of twenty-four climate action activities and policies at work in other communities

Story

The Metropolitan King County Council wants the County Executive’s update of the County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP) to include specific climate actions that can play a role on the battle against climate change. The Council gave its unanimous support to a motion calling for the 2015 SCAP to consider and include activities and policies selected from climate action plans of other jurisdictions.

“Climate change poses immediate threats to the resources, beauty, and security of our County. It is vital that our Strategic Climate Action Plan reflects the most efficient and proactive methods, proven effective by other jurisdictions, to address these challenges,” said Council Chair Larry Phillips, the sponsor of the motion. “I look forward to the Executive’s review of these important climate actions and policies.”

“Climate change is happening now, not something that might occur in the future,” said Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott. “Today’s vote assures that we will have a coordinated plan to continue and accelerate our pollution reduction activities.”

“It is important that King County leads the region in developing concrete steps in dealing with the number one problem of climate change in our world,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “Climate change is not something that impacts somewhere else. It is about the Northwest, our water, our mountains and landscape, our air and the quality of life we want people in King County to have as well as people around the world.”

“When it comes to taking bold steps to address climate change head-on, King County has never shied away from being a national leader,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “I am proud that my amendment making it a goal to eliminate coal power from the county's operational energy portfolio was adopted, and that we are now redoubling our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and encouraging county residents to do the same.”

In 2012 the Council adopted legislation calling for the creation of a Strategic Climate Action Plan. The legislation recognized the growing consensus among the world's leading scientists that human sources of climate pollution are causing severe climate changes, and that the impacts related to climate change are a significant environmental challenge.

The 2012 SCAP focused on county operations and activities that the county can influence through its direct operations. It integrated and refined current policies, plans, interlocal collaborations, and performance measures. For 2015, the Council is calling for the update to the SCAP to include twenty-four specific climate actions and policies in the areas of buildings, transportation, human health, economic development in the community, public outreach and involvement in plan development, and overall policy.

The motion calls on the Executive to consider which of the policies would be reasonable for inclusion in part or not reasonable for inclusion in the plan, an explanation is requested to be included in the appendix of the 2015 SCAP.



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