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County committee advances actions to address climate change



The Metropolitan King County Council’s Transportation, Economy, and Environment (TrEE) Committee today approved, and sent to the full Council, two pieces of legislation that take a strategic approach to addressing climate change in King County.

“Reducing climate-damaging emissions saves green for King County in two ways by protecting the environment and reducing energy costs,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the TrEE Committee and prime sponsor of the legislation. “By using performance measures and identifying strategic priority actions, we can maximize our efforts to make the most positive impact on the environment.”

“Reducing emissions and controlling energy costs benefits the environment and saves taxpayer dollars,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, co-sponsor of the legislation. “King County must be a good steward of our environment to protect the economy, public health, and quality of life of our region.”

“Today’s legislation presses ahead on urgent near-term actions, while bringing the future into sharper focus,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine, who worked with the Council on the proposed motion and companion ordinance. "We all need to work together to make real progress.”

The package of legislation advanced by committee members includes:

• Proposed Ordinance 2012-0049 calling for a Strategic Climate Action Plan consistent with the King County Strategic Plan to be completed in June 2012. This legislation expands on the climate-related goals in King County’s Strategic Plan to identify specific objectives, strategies, and priority actions for reducing climate emissions and mitigating climate impacts. It identifies performance measures and related targets for the strategies implemented.

• Proposed Motion 2012-0064 providing direction to the Executive on interim climate-related programs and activities until the Strategic Climate Action Plan is completed in June 2012.

“By making King County government green, we can save some ‘green,’” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “Reducing energy use benefits everyone, including our pocketbooks.”

“King County already is ahead of the nation in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, but we have much more to do,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, a member of the TrEE Committee. “I am pleased that this action plan ties together many strategies for controlling the emissions from transportation, energy, green building, recycling and waste management. New research, including international best practices, will help inform our climate strategies for the future.”

The legislation has been sent to the full Council for final action. The Council is expected to consider and act on the legislation at its February 27 and March 5 meetings.

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