A three-piece package of climate legislation could make King County a leader in cutting carbon emissions and help the region take a significant step forward in the fight to slow climate change.
The package would fast-track – by five years – the county’s transition to one of the largest zero-emission public transportation systems in the nation and create an aggressive green jobs program. In acknowledgment of the fact that, globally, cities account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions, the package supports efforts to reduce communitywide greenhouse gas emissions within cities. It would also put a focus on the disproportionate impacts of climate change on low-income and historically underrepresented communities.
Introduced by Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and Claudia Balducci, the three pieces of legislation (attached) are headlined by:
- An accelerated transition of King County Metro’s fleet to all-electric, moving the target date from 2040 to 2035.
- The creation of a countywide Green Jobs pipeline to help workers across the county – especially those from historically underrepresented communities – prepare and train for the jobs of tomorrow.
- A 500% expansion of the electric vehicle charging network at county buildings, parks, and park-and-rides completed by 2030. The county would also accelerate conversion of its 2,000+ vehicle fleet to all-electric.
- Create a Climate Action Toolkit to partner with local jurisdictions and help them create tailored climate action plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions communitywide.
- A new requirement that updates to the county Strategic Climate Action Plan be done using an environmental justice framework, addressing racial and economic disparities exacerbated by climate change. It would also require any county investments in affordable housing to consider opportunities to provide access to electric vehicles.
- Calls on the County to build on its partnerships with cities and other stakeholders to expand efforts to reduce King County’s communitywide greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.
King County operates one of the largest public transportation fleets in the nation. As transportation accounts for over 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, per the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the county’s transition to all-electric in both its transit fleet and in other county-owned vehicles would make for a significant reduction in emissions in the county.
The above is a press release from the King County Council. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable.