Councilmember Pedersen Introduces Bill to Consider Climate Change with All New Legislation

Home » Councilmember Pedersen Introduces Bill to Consider Climate Change with All New Legislation

Implementing idea from District 4 community leaders; Climate crisis warrants swift action

Councilmember Alex Pedersen (District 4, Northeast Seattle) today introduced his resolution that would enable the City Council to consider the crisis of climate change when reviewing new legislation.

Currently, all the Council’s legislation requires a “fiscal note,” which measures the financial implications of proposed legislation. Pedersen’s legislation asks the City Departments to assess whether new legislation would increase or decrease carbon emissions and resiliency to climate change.

“We are in the midst of a climate crisis and every decision the city government makes should keep our environment in mind,” said Pedersen. “By enhancing our analysis, Councilmembers will be better informed when making decisions. For example, when proposals such as expanding transit come forward, we will consider not only the fiscal costs, but also the benefits of transit such as reducing carbon emissions. The climate crisis cannot wait, and neither should this legislation.”

Councilmember Pedersen adopted the “carbon note” concept from Dr. Cathy Tuttle, a climate activist who ran for City Council in the 2019 primary. In a statement Tuttle said, “While climate action requires global solutions, right now American cities and large companies need to take the lead on decarbonizing our transportation, building, and utility sectors. By adding carbon impacts to its Fiscal Notes, Seattle City Council will give decision-makers and the public good information about how to reduce greenhouse gases as we grow our economy and build healthy communities. I’m optimistic this bold proposal from Councilmember Pedersen and the Seattle Council will lead to greener, cleaner legislation and funding decisions.”

The Washington State Director of Climate Solutions, Vlad Gutman-Britten, said, “Seattle must act with urgency to cut our climate pollution and accelerate the clean energy transition we need. We must ensure that future policies our city adopts cut climate pollution, and so adding climate considerations to Fiscal Notes is a good first step to better understanding how City policies impact the climate–and thereby our health, finances, safety, and more. We look forward to offering our expertise to the city departments as they implement this policy and strive to improve their tools for analyzing emissions.”

Pedersen’s proposed legislation was referred to the Governance and Education Committee.

For more information, please visit the Introduction and Referral Calendar.

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