King County Council takes big step to combat climate change | KNKX

King County Council takes big step to combat climate change

May 5, 2021

The King County Council has solidified a plan for dramatic action against climate change. Councilmembers unanimously approved the Strategic Climate Action Plan, which paves the way for sweeping changes by 2030.

The plan includes ambitious goals – cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half, revising green building codes, planting 3 million trees, and improving access to public transportation.

Councilmember Rod Dembowski says it’s a step in the right direction.

“It's a very, very challenging task, but I'm proud to say that King County is doing its part to try and heal the wounds we've caused to our environment and make the planet sustainable for all generations to come,” he said.

The majority of greenhouse gas emissions in King County come from vehicles. The county government is planning to reduce its own emissions by 80% by transitioning to a zero-emissions transit fleet over the next nine years.

There will also be a focus on limiting aviation emissions, which directly impact communities near Boeing Field and SeaTac Airport.

The plan coincides with new efforts to make public transit more accessible by connecting bus routes to other transportation and building affordable housing near transit centers. 

The county is also working toward creating more green jobs, and officials are aiming to reach zero-waste for county agencies.

Councilmember Dave Upthegrove says that hearing a diversity of voices was invaluable as the council drafted the plan.

“I also want to commend the process that was used here,” he said. “This truly was informed by the voices of marginalized communities in a way that represents meaningful, authentic engagement, and living up to our environmental justice values.”