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King County-Cities Climate Collaboration wins national 2016 Climate Leadership Award

Summary

Innovative and collaborative local government efforts to reduce carbon pollution and confront climate change have earned the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration, or K4C, one of 17 national leadership awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Story

Since 2011, King County and a growing list of local cities have been working across political boundaries to set targets, pool resources and make true progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and confronting climate change.

Now, the King County-Cities Collaboration, or K4C, has won national recognition for its work - a 2016 Climate Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

CLAWinner_InnovPartnership“Through this collaboration, King County and partner cities are stepping up to the greatest environmental, public health and economic threat the Puget Sound region has ever faced,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine on behalf of K4C. “Together, we are confronting climate change by partnering on solutions from clean energy to transit to forest protection. We are honored to receive a 2016 Climate Leadership Award.” 

Honored for “Innovative Partnerships,” K4C is one of only 17 organizations, partnerships or individuals across the United States to win the prestigious recognition from EPA. 

The K4C is a voluntary but formal partnership that was formed based on the recognition that neighboring local governments can achieve greater action on climate solutions by working together. Since its inception, K4C has grown to 14 member jurisdictions, representing 75 percent of the county’s 2 million residents.

“I am proud to distinguish the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration for its outstanding actions and dedication to reduce harmful carbon pollution that leads to climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “K4C is leading the way towards a healthy environment, and demonstrates that meeting challenges of a changing climate can be done.”

The Innovative Partnerships Climate Leadership Awards category recognizes organizations working collaboratively on leading edge climate initiatives. Partnerships have collectively established objectives to measurably address greenhouse gas reduction goals and/or adaptation and resilience activities. 

“The King County-Cities Climate Collaboration is at the vanguard of local leadership for cutting climate pollution,” said Gregg Small, Climate Solutions Executive Director. “Congratulations to King County Executive Dow Constantine and the elected officials of this important partnership for the U.S. EPA’s recognition of their hard work to come together for collective action."

K4C’s accomplishments include:

  • Supporting formal adoption of shared near and long term countywide GHG emissions reduction targets of 25 percent by 2020, 50 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050 (2007 baseline). 
  • Developing a comprehensive shared vision and policy framework for confronting climate change that addresses energy supply, green building, land use, forests, and more. 
  • Mapping out specific action commitments to reduce emissions that are tailored to King County energy sources, city and county development patterns, and local government areas of influence. 
  • Partnering on municipal policy and code changes, joint grant funding proposals, and increased influence among other stakeholders at the state level. 
  • Exploring the potential to partner with local utilities and businesses to jointly invest in and develop a large-scale renewable energy project, such as wind or solar.
  • Sharing technical support and learning across K4C members. K4C staff and elected officials from cities large and small now have an extensive network of people on whom they can count for expertise, lessons learned, tools and resources.

K4C partnership members include: 

  • King County
  • City of Bellevue
  • City of Burien
  • City of Issaquah
  • City of Kirkland
  • City of Mercer Island
  • City of Normandy Park
  • City of Redmond
  • City of Renton
  • City of Sammamish
  • City of Seattle
  • City of Shoreline
  • City of Snoqualmie
  • City of Tukwila

Quotes from K4C partners

Without collaborative endeavors like K4C, our individual efforts seem futile and naive. Together we are creating increasing momentum for real and credible change. In just three years, our City has doubled home enrollments in green power, and quadrupled the amount of solar.  Being a K4C partner has empowered us; we are grateful and honored by the EPA recognition of this successful collaborative model.

Matthew R. Larson, Snoqualmie Mayor

The King County Cities Climate Collaboration demonstrates how people at the local level can have impact on a global issue. Partnering together, we will meet our aggressive goals of reducing carbon pollution.

Jay Arnold, Kirkland Deputy Mayor 

Increasingly, it’s up to cities and counties to step up and take action at the local level, because that’s where people are really starting to notice the effects of climate change: stronger storms, shrinking snowpacks, and more landslides. The K4C allows us to join with partner cities and maximize the positive actions we need for a healthy future.

Bruce Bassett, Mercer Island Mayor

The City of Redmond is honored to be recognized for our climate collaboration with King County and partner cities. Redmond is committed to our climate action plan and affecting change through initiatives including our energy conservation efforts, greenhouse gas tracking, electric vehicle charging stations, and greening of our city fleet vehicles.

John Marchione, Redmond Mayor 


More information about the 2016 Climate Leadership Award winners is available at http://www.epa.gov/climateleadership/2016-climate-leadership-award-winners.

Learn more about K4C at www.kingcounty.gov/climate/pledge.