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Making King County more resilient, sustainable and equitable - 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan

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Introduction

King County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP) is a five-year blueprint for County climate action, integrating climate change into all areas of County operations and work with King County cities, partners, communities, and residents. The SCAP outlines King County’s priorities and commitments for climate action to residents and partners.

King County updated its Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP) in 2020. The 2020 SCAP – the guiding policy document for King County actions and investments on climate - was proposed by Executive Constantine in August 2020 and unanimously adopted by the King County Council in May 2021.

King County’s SCAP is updated every five years to reflect the County’s continuous learning approach to climate action. The updates to the 2020 SCAP were rooted in the understanding that climate change is an urgent local and global challenge and that climate change is a threat multiplier that creates complex challenges, particularly for communities affected by historic and current inequities.

If you are interested in periodic email updates on King County climate action, please subscribe to King County's climate action email topic .

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions section includes commitments and performance measures to reduce GHG emissions countywide and from County government operations. Focus areas were determined based on major GHG emissions sources and opportunities for reductions and carbon sequestration. All focus areas include commitments that advance both GHG emissions reductions and racial justice and equity, as part of the SCAP’s commitment to lead with this guiding principle.

Many targets and commitments in this section were co-developed with partners of the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C). These actions are also reflected in the K4C’s Joint Climate Action Commitments (2019) which represent a shared vision for countywide progress to reduce GHG emissions. Countywide targets also build on technical analysis completed to support the 2020 SCAP that assessed recent trends in countywide GHG emissions and identified major opportunities for reductions.

Sustainable & Resilient Frontline Communities – A Climate Justice Framework

As part of King County’s commitments to action on climate change and equity and social justice, the 2020 SCAP includes a new Sustainable & Resilient Frontline Communities (SRFC) section focused on climate equity and community-driven policy.

The SRFC framework was developed through a community-driven process where leaders of frontline communities, as part of the Climate Equity Community Task Force (CECTF), established the goals and identified the priority areas for climate action based on climate justice values and community needs. Frontline communities are those communities that often experience the earliest and most acute impacts of climate change, face historic and current inequities, and have limited resources and/or capacity to adapt. The CECTF identified eight focus areas that offer pathways to a more equitable and just climate future for all — a future and vision that is emergent from the unique lived experiences of frontline communities across King County.

Preparing for Climate Change

The Preparing for Climate Change section identifies climate preparedness actions, organized under a new strategic framework, that help King County government and communities prepare for the impacts of climate change and increase climate resilience. The actions represent important next steps in an ongoing and necessary pivot toward becoming a more climate-resilient King County.

King County’s climate preparedness actions address a range of climate impacts, including those related to heavier rain events, hotter summers, lower snowpack, increased flooding, sea level rise, and changes in the potential for wildfire. Because climate change exacerbates many existing environmental, health, and safety challenges, the actions the County takes now to prepare for climate change will also create near-term benefits.

A key objective in the 2020 climate preparedness section is mainstreaming climate action by making it part of daily work at King County. Climate preparedness will be operationalized through the development of methods and guidelines that incorporate climate considerations into day-today agency processes such as policy development, strategic planning, capital planning, and project implementation.

Download the 2020 SCAP

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Past King County climate plans and reports

How to cite the 2020 SCAP

Complete Plan:
King County Climate Action Team (eds.). 2020. King County 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan. King County, Washington.

Section I. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
Kuharic, M. (ed.) and the Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Team. 2020. Section I: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions. In: King County 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan. [King County Climate Action Team (eds.)]. King County, Washington.

Section II: Sustainable & Resilient Frontline Communities:
Stroble, J., S. Rahman (eds.), and the Climate Equity Community Task Force. 2020. Section II: Sustainable & Resilient Frontline Communities. In: King County 2020 Strategic  Climate Action Plan. [King County Climate Action Team (eds.)]. King County, Washington.

Section III. Preparing for Climate Change:
Whitely Binder, L.C. (ed.), and the Climate Preparedness Steering Committee. 2020. Section III: Preparing for Climate Change. In: King County 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan. [King County Climate Action Team (eds.)]. King County, Washington.

For more information about King County's 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan Update, please contact climatechange@kingcounty.gov.