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Climate Change Resolution Introduced

I have been working closely with Council President Conlin to introduce this resolution to adopts new climate protection goals for Seattle, which was introduced yesterday in the Regional Development and Sustainability Committee. The resolution sets bold new targets for reductions in vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse has emissions-including net zero greenhouse has emissions by 2050!

The resolution is pasted below and I would love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment or contact my office: 206-684-8800.

 

A RESOLUTION adopting new climate protection and adaptation goals for Seattle and outlining the process for updating the Seattle Climate Action Plan to provide a roadmap for achieving those goals.

WHEREAS, the City of Seattle is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in climate protection and environmental sustainability work; and

WHEREAS, the City Council passed Resolution 30316 in 2001 supporting efforts to curb global warming, adopting greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for the City of Seattle, and calling for continuing and new actions toward achieving those goals; and

WHEREAS, the City of Seattle created the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement in 2005, an agreement that more than 1000 mayors from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have signed; and

WHEREAS, climate protection activities contribute substantially to the achievement of many of the City’s highest priority goals, including affordable housing, transportation choices, building energy efficiency, solid waste reduction, urban forest protection, sustainable economic development, and clean air; and

WHEREAS, there is growing consensus among the scientific community that the quickest path to stay below the United Nations Copenhagen Accord-identified 2 degrees centigrade maximum increase (equivalent to 80% below 1990 emissions levels by 2050) may be insufficient to address the risks of climate change because its assumption that global emissions will peak in 2011 almost certainly will not be realized and greater reductions are required in later years for each year that emissions continue to increase; and

WHEREAS, the City Council established a goal of achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions (“carbon neutrality”) as a priority in its 2010 work program and asked community members for recommendations on what the City should do to move towards that goal; and

WHEREAS, the Office of Sustainability and Environment commissioned the development of an emissions reduction scenario that represents one of many potential pathways to carbon neutrality; and

WHEREAS, the City’s Climate Action Plan is scheduled to be updated beginning in fall of 2011; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, THE MAYOR CONCURRING, THAT:

Section 1 . City adopts the following climate protection and adaptation goals:

(1) Seattle will strive to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050; and

(2) Seattle will be prepared for the likely impacts of climate change.

Section 2 . The Office of Sustainability and Environment will lead a process to update the Seattle Climate Action Plan with a focus on achieving the City’s climate protection and adaptation goals described in Section 1. The updated Seattle Climate Action Plan will:

(a) Include climate protection strategies and actions for the road transportation, building energy, and waste emission sectors, as well as climate change adaptation strategies and actions;

(b) Develop emission sector targets for the road transportation, buildings and waste sectors that will guide the City’s investments in climate action, working from the following preliminary targets:

 

Sector

2020 Targets

(% reduction compared to 2008)

2030 Targets

(% reduction compared to 2008)

Transportation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passenger vehicles:

- 14% reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT)
-  35% reduction in GHG emissions per mile of Seattle vehicles

Freight

- Maximum 7% increase in VMT
- 25% reduction in GHG emissions per mile of Seattle vehicles

Passenger vehicles:

- 20% reduction in VMT
-  75% reduction in GHG emissions per mile of Seattle vehicles

Freight

- Maximum 15% increase in VMT
- 50% reduction in GHG emissions per mile of Seattle vehicles

Buildings

 

 

 

 

Residential - 8% reduction in energy use

Commercial - 5% reduction in energy use

Both - 15% reduction in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per billion BTU for residential and commercial buildings combined

 

Residential - 20% reduction in energy use

Commercial – 10% reduction in energy use

Both - 25% reduction in tonnes of CO2e per billion BTU for residential and commercial buildings combined

Waste - Increase diversion rate to 69%

 

- 50% reduction in methane emissions commitment per ton of waste disposed

- Increase diversion rate to over 70%

- 50% reduction in methane emissions commitment per ton of waste disposed

TOTAL GHG EMISSION REDUCTION - 30% reduction in emissions by 2020

- 87% reduction in emissions by 2050

- 58% reduction in emissions by 2030

- 87% reduction in emissions by 2050

(c) Develop strategies for businesses, households and individuals to contribute to climate protection, recognizing that action by City government alone cannot achieve net zero GHG emissions;

(d) Address how offsets and the effects of beneficial City actions (such as protection of urban forests and forested municipal watersheds) will be used to reach City climate goals;

(e) Include a funding strategy that addresses the funding challenges associated with implementing climate protection and adaptation actions;

(f) Be informed by broad community input, including the carbon neutral white papers completed by community workgroups in the fall of 2010; and

(g) Be completed no later than September 2012.

Section 3 . The Office of Sustainability and Environment will develop a community process to engage a wide range of stakeholders, including but not limited to historically under- served communities, businesses, environmental organizations, and urban planning organizations, in the update of the Climate Action Plan. The community process should include targeted outreach to solicit citizen ideas for achieving carbon neutrality. The community process should inform the Climate Action Plan’s emission sector reduction targets, suite of climate action activities, and implementation priorities.

 

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