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New toolkit will help King County cities develop customized climate strategies, mobilizing effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions regionwide

Summary

Recently approved by the County Council, the new Climate Action Toolkit is available at no cost to all 39 cities. It is designed to be a flexible guide for cities in all stages of climate planning to help them developed customized climate strategies.

Story

A new Climate Action Toolkit created by King County and the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration is now available to all local governments, providing cities with guidance for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a community-wide scale.

The toolkit – recently approved by the King County Council – is designed to be a flexible guide for cities in all stages of climate planning to help them develop customized climate strategies. It will help cities contribute to goals that King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed for the 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan, a five-year roadmap to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, elevate the voices of frontline communities, and prepare the region for climate impacts.

"We must mobilize the people and power of King County and all of our 39 cities to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half this decade on our way to net zero – and that’s exactly what the Climate Action Toolkit is designed to do,” said Executive Constantine. “We know from experience that our region has the resources, expertise and commitment to deliver results at a community-wide scale. Now we’re applying that successful approach to achieve bold climate solutions.

The toolkit highlights actions that cities can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by transportation and the built environment, which are the biggest drivers of emissions in the region.

The Climate Action Toolkit was developed in partnership with the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration, known as K4C, an alliance of King County, the Port of Seattle, and 16 cities representing 80 percent of King County’s 2.25 million residents working to advance climate action at a region-wide scale.

"As we experience the growing impacts of climate change, we will need every level of government to take urgent action to make a difference now and for future generations," said King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci. "This toolkit empowers every jurisdiction in King County to maximize efforts to fight climate change. I urge my colleagues in every city in King County to take advantage of this powerful tool to do their part to combat this crisis."

The Climate Action Toolkit will help cities conduct an inventory of climate emissions, quantifying how much is caused by transportation, or the built environment or industrial activity. It provides actionable and practical strategies for how to most effectively and quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on the primary sources in their cities.

In addition to technical assistance, the Climate Action Toolkit offers guides for community engagement, particularly with frontline communities that are disproportionately impacted by climate change. In its letter of support for the Toolkit, the Seattle-King County League of Women Voters cited the importance of “public involvement at each phase in the process, and at each level of government,” which is highlighted in the engagement strategy.

In development of the toolkit, the team conducted extensive outreach for the broadest appeal to urban, suburban, and rural cities, providing them with the tools they need to best serve their communities. Outreach included a stakeholder workshops that included climate justice and environmental advocacy organizations, youth, frontline community leaders, labor, city and state agencies, residents, utilities, and business representatives.


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Quotes

We must mobilize the people and power of King County and all of our 39 cities to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half this decade on our way to net zero – and that’s exactly what the Climate Action Toolkit is designed to do,” said Executive Constantine. “We know from experience that our region has the resources, expertise and commitment to deliver results at a community-wide scale. Now we’re applying that successful approach to achieve bold climate solutions.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

As we experience the growing impacts of climate change, we will need every level of government to take urgent action to make a difference now and for future generations. This toolkit empowers every jurisdiction in King County to maximize efforts to fight climate change. I urge my colleagues in every city in King County to take advantage of this powerful tool to do their part to combat this crisis.

Claudia Balducci, King County Council Chair

This is great timing, as the City of Issaquah is developing a climate action plan this year. Thanks to an extensive engagement process with stakeholders, this innovative toolkit was developed with flexibility in mind – which will also ensure we can meet the specific needs of our community.

Mary Lou Pauly, Issaquah Mayor

UMC thanks King County for its leadership in bringing forward the Climate Action Toolkit. Building on our 100 years in the region, we look forward to working with cities to reach their climate goals and grow more good jobs in the local clean economy.

Bonnie Frye Hemphill, Director, Policy and Partnerships, UMC Inc.

For more information, contact:

Doug Williams, Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-477-4543