City of Seattle

Background

Seattle has been a leader on climate change, but we still have a long way to go to meet our goals. Seattle adopted a Climate Action Plan in 2013, and updated it in 2018. In 2019, Seattle passed the Green New Deal, which sets an ambitious goal of carbon neutral by 2030. In 2020, Seattle passed the JumpStart bill, which levied a payroll tax on big business in order to fund supportive housing, and including $20 million per year for the Green New Deal.

Since then, Seattle has passed improvements to its Commercial Energy Code which have been picked up by a few other jurisdictions, and some of the more critical pieces, requiring electrical instead of fossil fuel for space and water heating, have been adopted state-wide.

Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is Seattle's climate legislation that defines the City's goals, and sets up a mechanism for advice on climate policy and climate justice.

Climate-related Executive Orders

Mayor Durkin issued Executive Order 2020-01 on climate policy in Jan. 2020 in response to the City Council's passage of the Green New Deal, just prior to the start of the pandemic. It calls for an inter-departmental committee of the city to identify the ten most pressing actions the city could take on climate change. Their report was due in June 2020, but was postponed due the coronavirus. We don't have a new date, and we don't know if this is something the city is even still pursuing.

Mayor Durkin issued a second COP26 Executive Order in 2021.

Mayor Bruce Harrell has so far not made any Executive Orders relating to climate.

Climate Action Plan

Seattle has a Climate Action Plan, updated on a 5-year schedule. The plan details a set of policies that the City intends to implement in order to meet its climate goals. It is due for an update in 2023.

City Budget

See here for detailed information on the city's 2022 and 2021 budgets.

Recommendations for Process Changes

  • Establish a Select Committee on Climate within the City Council

  • Establish a set of benchmarks that are frequently updated and reviewed to track our climate progress.

Council Timeline

Sept.-Nov. – 2022 Budget

Nov. 2021 - March 2022 – City Light review Clean Energy Action Plan

Nov 2021 – Election for Mayor & at-large council seats

Dec 2021 – Land Use Committee & City Council vote on new energy code requiring efficient electric for hot water in all commercial buildings

April/May 2022 – City Light Integrated Resource Plan legislation

Fall 2022 – Redistricting

Fall 2023 – Election for Positions 1-7


Comprehensive Plan

Seattle is doing a major update of its 20-year Comprehensive Plan in 2024, and the process is going to kick off in Q1 2022.

City Council Work Plan

Every year each City Council Committee draws up work plans that details work the committee expects to take on over the course of the year. See here for more information on the work plans for 2022.