Tacoma, WA Resolution on Climate Change and Global Warming

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Tacoma, WA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 4/18/06

Source File: http://www.ci.tacoma.wa.us/cityclerk/files/citycouncil/RecentLegislation/2006/06-04-18/Res36835.pdf



A RESOLUTION supporting the efforts to curb global warming; and calling for the establishment of baseline data and the development of numeric goals for the reduction of greenhouse gases and encouraging the continued growth and development of clean technology businesses in the City of Tacoma.

WHEREAS the world’s leading climate scientists have documented a clear global warming trend caused by greenhouse gases which get trapped and build up heat in the atmosphere near the earth’s surface, and

WHEREAS global warming of the magnitude now predicted by many in the scientific community is likely to cause serious and costly disruption to human and natural systems throughout the world, and

WHEREAS the Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, was commissioned by the gubernatorially-appointed Puget Sound Action Team to study climate change and its effects on Puget Sound and issued, in October 2005, its final report, “Uncertain Future,” describing the dangers and risks of climate change and calling for local analysis and policy development, and

WHEREAS the University of Washington’s Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Oceans projects significant harm to the Pacific Northwest due to changes in weather patterns attributable to global warming, including forest decline, deteriorating air quality, sea level rise, and, most alarmingly, disruption of the water cycle on which the region’s water, power, and agricultural systems depend, and

WHEREAS it is estimated that the United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, is responsible for producing approximately 25 percent of the world’s global warming pollutants, and

WHEREAS the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change (“Kyoto Protocol”) represents a first step, by nations worldwide, to provide for the purposeful reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and

WHEREAS achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions to protect the climate is important to the community of Tacoma, which relies heavily on the stability of the climate for our water and power supplies, and

WHEREAS the federal government has, thus far, refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, and

WHEREAS local actions, whenever taken by cities and counties nationwide, can provide a collective response in lieu of federal action and may also provide the benefits of testing and developing model programs, methods, and technologies for greenhouse gas reductions, and

WHEREAS 202 cities in the United States and over 400 cities throughout the world are inventorying greenhouse gas emissions and adopting reduction targets, and

WHEREAS many of the critical components of a local action plan for climate protection are under development in Tacoma, including the Green Building Program, the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program, and the Green Fleet Program, among others, and

WHEREAS King County and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency are also developing climate protection plans, and the City of Seattle has already adopted a climate protection plan providing opportunities for a strong, coordinated regional approach to greenhouse gas emission reduction, and

WHEREAS local jurisdictions, such as the City of Tacoma, may be better prepared to efficiently distribute federal and state funds for programs and grants to reduce greenhouse gases, and

WHEREAS greenhouse gas reduction activities contribute to the achievement of many of the City’s environmental values, including promoting clean and efficient energy use, commuter trip reduction efforts and other clean air initiatives, solid waste reduction and recycling; salmon recovery; assuring a reliable and affordable water supply; protecting urban and rural forests; and promoting low-impact economic development, and

WHEREAS reducing the magnitude of climate change may reduce its harmful effects on public health and safety by decreasing the impacts of severe weather and reducing harmful emissions, and

WHEREAS technologies to reduce greenhouse gases will also contribute to the economic vitality of the area through the development and use of clean technologies and the addition of jobs, and

WHEREAS Mayor Baarsma and mayors from more than 200 other cities have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement;

Now, Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TACOMA: That the City is committed to the long-range goal of stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and, with respect to City operations will explore ways the City can meet and work toward exceeding the greenhouse gas reduction requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Community and Economic Development Department and the Public Works Department are directed to coordinate the analysis and planning of greenhouse gas emission reduction activities, as described in paragraphs A and B below, to be paid with budgeted funds, in the amount of $15,000, from the Solid Waste Utility Fund.

A. By July 12, 2006, working with appropriate City departments, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, and the International Conference of Local Environmental Initiatives (“ICLEI”) complete and deliver an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for the years 1990 and 2000, including, as a first step, defining the scope of activities and geographic boundaries to be included in the inventory.

The completed inventory should include

(1) an estimate of greenhouse gas emission levels in Tacoma for the baseline year of 1990 and the City’s contribution to those emissions;

(2) an accounting of greenhouse gas reductions associated with City activities to date, particularly those undertaken since 1990;

(3) a description of greenhouse gas reductions undertaken since 1990 within Tacoma but not associated with City operations;

(4) a projection of future emissions by the year 2010; and

(5) a projection of population growth with an analysis of the impact of population growth on the projected future emissions.

B. By July 12, 2006, working with appropriate City departments, propose specific numeric goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from City operations, including a timeline for the development of an implementation plan to pursue these goals.

C. The City will work with, support, and encourage other public, private, and nonprofit groups in a coordinated effort to reduce greenhouse gases and monitor progress. The City will encourage, by the communication of this resolution and in other ways, including through programs such as the ICLEI, neighboring cities in Pierce County and adjacent counties to adopt similar courses of action.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City will pursue the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for City operations through City activities and programs, while pursuing non-City operation “community” goals through cooperative incentive-based programs and policies. The reduction measures for City operations will be identified in the implementation plan developed as a result of this resolution.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City will conduct an inventory of clean technology industries existing in our community and commits to active support for the growth, development, and expansion of such enterprises in the future.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City calls upon national leaders to support a strong, enforceable international greenhouse gas reduction treaty with targets and timetables at least as aggressive as those in the Kyoto Protocol.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City actively supports international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that meet or exceed the greenhouse gas reduction requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.