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climate action

A tree is embedded in the ground with Mount St. Helens in the background as seen from the Hummocks Trail, Monday, May 18, 2020
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Hitting the hiking trail and spending a night at the theater are two pastimes many people in the Pacific Northwest enjoy. But they don’t often do so simultaneously.

A new festival of short plays, called “Finding Trails,” aims to bring these disparate worlds together.

People wearing a protective face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walk past a mural of the world in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
Matt Rourke / The Associated Press

Washington’s broadest coalition of climate activists is using the 50th anniversary of Earth Day to call for a just recovery from COVID-19.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The end of this year’s legislative session has been overshadowed by the coronavirus outbreak. The session started with high hopes for new state policies to reduce climate warming greenhouse gas pollution, stoked by youth climate strikes as well as cities and the Puyallup Tribe declaring climate emergencies.

Youth plaintiffs in the Juliana v. United States climate change lawsuit gather in a federal courthouse for a hearing in front of a panel of judges with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Ore., on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.
Robin Loznak / pool file photo via The Associated Press

A lawsuit filed by 21 young people against the federal government nearly five years ago in Eugene should not go to trial. That’s according to a ruling from a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

But attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case say it’s far from over, despite Friday’s decision.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee talks to the media after a state Supreme Court ruling that reinstated a severely limited version of his plan to cap carbon pollution in the state, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in Olympia, Wash.
Rachel La Corte / The Associated Press

In a close ruling, the state Supreme Court has partially invalidated the Clean Air Rule drafted by the Department of Ecology.

The court says it cannot be used to regulate companies that sell or distribute petroleum or natural gas, because they don't make their own greenhouse gas emissions. Supporters of climate action remain optimistic.

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg attracted thousands of fellow climate activists, many fellow teenagers and their parents, to Vancouver, B.C., on Friday.
Craig McCulloch / KNKX

Less than a week after the Canadian general election, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday to speak.

The 16-year-old attracted thousands of fellow climate activists, many fellow teenagers and their parents, to the downtown core.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

UPDATE, Sept. 20, 6 p.m.: Adds details from strikes in Seattle and Tacoma, as well as audio of a live Q&A with reporter Simone Alicea, who followed a march by Amazon workers, and audio of a live Q&A with environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. 

courtesy of state Department of Health

A bill that would address environmental justice is still alive in the state Legislature.

The so-called Healthy Environment for All, or HEAL, Act passed the House in the nick of time, getting a last-minute bipartisan vote of 88-10 just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, to clear the cutoff deadline.

Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

One of the biggest priorities among environmental groups working in Olympia this year is passage of a law to transition the electrical grid to 100 percent clean energy by 2045. It’s also a cornerstone of Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest policies to address climate change. The proposal faces a key vote in the state House finance committee on Friday morning.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP Photo

Kids in Tacoma and Seattle are planning to join worldwide demonstrations during the school day Friday to call on adults to take action on climate change.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It may seem like nothing is happening to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state, especially after the failure of the carbon-fee measure, Initiative 1631. But work is progressing on a regional "clean fuel standard."

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Dozens of youth climate activists and their supporters rallied outside the federal courthouse in Seattle on Monday. Their demonstration was one of more than 70 such gatherings planned around the country, in support of the 21 young plaintiffs in a landmark case against the U.S. government.   

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Seattle is working on changes to its tree protection ordinance. Trees provide shade and clean the air. They’re acknowledged by the City of Seattle for the ecosystem services they provide, which are increasingly called for as the climate warms. 

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Youth activists concerned about climate change are gearing up for protest marches worldwide this weekend. On Saturday, for the second year running, they’ll take part in an event called The Zero Hour that was conceived by a young woman from Seattle.

Jaime Margonlin, a student at Seattle’s Holy Names Academy, was inspired by the women’s marches around the country and wanted to do something similar for climate. She’s in D.C. for the main march this year. But the movement she started is growing. 

Courtesy First American Project

A newly formed coalition of tribal leaders and communities of color plans to put its combined weight behind the latest voter initiative to curb carbon pollution.

Flickr via Compfight

Trees provide lots of benefits that make cities more livable and ecosystems healthier. Smaller cities around the region, including Redmond and Lake Forest Park, have ordinances in place to protect larger trees from being cut down by developers or homeowners.

Ellen Hoke / Great Pacific Race

Less than a week into an event that was expected to last well into July, Seattle climate rower Eliza Dawson is back on land.

All are safe, but strong Pacific winds ultimately thwarted her four-woman team’s attempt to travel 2,400 miles across the Pacific, on human-power alone.  

Ellen Hoke / courtesy GreatPacificRace.com

Seattle Climate Rower Eliza Dawson is in California now, in the final phases of training for the Great Pacific Race.

courtesy Rob Harmon, MEETS Coalition. MEETS stands for 'Metered Energy Efficiency Transaction Structure.'

One of the most effective sources of so-called ‘clean energy’ is increasing efficiency, so less is needed to heat or cool or light a building.

A new program from Seattle City Light incentivizes landlords to invest in those upgrades.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Confronting the likely effects of climate change can feel overwhelming. One recent graduate in atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington is channeling that fear into an ambitious athletic feat.

Eliza Dawson is joining three other women to row across the Pacific to Hawaii this summer. They hope to beat the world record in what she’s calling a race for the climate.  

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Environmental groups had high hopes going into the special legislative session that ended Thursday in Olympia. But even with Democratic majorities in both chambers of the legislature, passage of critical climate policies did not happen.

Have you ever wondered how big your personal contribution is to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change?

Hundreds of residents of Seattle and Edmonds are finding out by taking part in local competitions to see who can reduce their emissions the most over the next two months.  The game is called “Taming Bigfoot.”

Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

A public hearing on Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to tax fossil fuel emissions takes place Tuesday in Olympia. A coalition of environmental groups is urging people to go and organizing carpools to ensure a strong turnout.

They say the governor’s carbon tax is just one of at least three climate policies they want to see action on this session. And two groups have new polling data to back that up.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The federal government’s latest special report on climate change directly contradicts the Trump administration’s policies. Hundreds of pages long, the report outlines the latest science and states that humans are the main cause of planetary warming.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is in Bonn, Germany, this week for the United Nations latest conference on climate change. He’s part of a panel of local leaders talking about sub-national strategies for meeting commitments made in the Paris agreement, even after the U.S. withdrawal.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are set to take part in an international conference on climate change Bonn, Germany. Brown and Inslee were invited to the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference by Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who is presiding over conference proceedings this year.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Despite a lot of pressure from activists, Seattle will not be divesting from fossil fuel investments in its $2.5 billion pension fund. 

The board that oversees the pension fund for city employees met Thursday morning and faced a room full of protestors holding signs urging the city to take its money out of energy investments that pollute the air.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Edmonds is well-known as the first city in the state to ban disposable plastic bags. Now it’s taking concrete steps to more aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Donald Trump takes office later this week as President of the United States. After his election, many students in the Seattle area walked out of classes in protest. At a small public school in Redmond, they took a different approach. Students there have vowed instead to counter Trump’s threat to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. They say even if the U.S. doesn’t meet the carbon reduction goals in the accord, they will.

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