Archive of the Earth Week chat with Executive Constantine
Climate change is one of the most significant environmental and economic issues facing King County. It will have a range of effects, including negative impacts to flooding, salmon recovery, drinking water supplies, farming, forestry, and public health.
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in King County, representing about half of our emissions. This means that the way we plan our growth and transportation today will “cast the die” for future emissions by determining how people travel to work, play, shopping, and services.
Fortunately, many of the steps we take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - like creating vibrant urban centers where people can walk, bike, or use transit - also have benefits for improving public health and protecting our open space, farms, and forests.
Investments in work to reduce energy emissions and energy use and economic development can be mutually supportive. We need to work in partnership with businesses, and individuals. We need to train a green work force, and build a green economy. I hope that you’ll explore this web page and check out our new videos about what individuals, businesses, and King County can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
King County is already taking a number of steps to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and prepare for climate change. These include:
- Retrofitting our county buildings to save energy and operating costs. Recent retrofits to the King County Courthouse alone are saving $ 424,000 in energy costs every year.
- Replacing diesel buses with hybrid-electric buses. County investments in improving energy efficiency in our buildings and buses are saving taxpayer dollars. Replacement of diesel buses with hybrids is saving the county more than $4 million a year on fuel and eliminating 18,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Capturing “waste” energy from sewage treatment and waste disposal and using it to power our facilities and provide a source of renewable energy to utilities. A public –private partnership to capture methane gas from our landfill will power the equivalent of 24,000 homes and generate a million dollars a year in revenue.
- Collaborating with cities to focus growth in urban centers and link our planning for land use, transportation, and economic development.
- Preparing for the impacts of climate change on roads, bridges, and other essential services.
We will only continue to make progress toward our long-term goal of reducing climate emissions by eighty percent by 2050 through a series of specific actions with measurable outcomes. On April 21st I’ll transmit legislation to our Council laying out specific, near-term actions to ensure that King County continues to do its part.
King County Executive
On Monday, April 18, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Lara Whitely Binder from UW's Climate Impacts Group and Ross Macfarlane from Climate Solutions answered questions and discussed what we can expect from climate change in the Puget Sound region, what King County is doing to support a sustainable, prosperous local economy and how you can help. Thanks to everyone who participated. The transcript of the live chat is available below.
If you have additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, browse our climate change website or watch the videos on the right.
||Earth Day chat: Executive Constantine
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