City of Seattle

Climate Agenda for 2024

Here's what we are advocating for in 2024:


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.

City Timeline

Jan. 2024 – Council elects new Councilmember

Jan 2024 – Council establishes new committees, with a work plan for each committee

Jan 2024 – OPCD releases draft Comprehensive Plan

June 2024 – OSE starts rulemaking plan for BEPS

June 2024 – Council passes a Transportation Levy to go on the ballot

Nov 2024 – Citywide Council position election

Nov. 2024 – Council approves new biennial budget

Dec 2024 – Council approves Comprehensive Plan, including the Climate Element

Other items expected in 2024:

Seattle City Light Integrated Resource Plan

Update to the Transportation Electrification Plan

Comprehensive Plan

Seattle is doing a major update of its 20-year Comprehensive Plan in 2024. The process has been delayed by about 9 months, and a draft of the plan is expected in Jan 2024.Green New Deal. It will include the first ever Climate Element.

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.

Past City Action on Climate

2013 – City adopts first Climate Action Plan

2018 – City updates Climate Action Plan

2019 – City passes Green New Deal resolution. Green New Deal Oversight Board established to advise the City on climate justice

2020Mayor 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.

2020 – JumpStart is established, with 9% allocated to Green New Deal. Green New Deal Oversight Board tasked with making recommendations on spending.

2021Mayor Durkin issued a second COP26 Executive Order in 2021. 

2021 – Seattle adopts a much stricter commercial building code that is expected to result in almost all new buildings being fully electric.

2022 – Mayor Bruce Harrell issued One Seattle Transportation and Climate Justice. Calls for an Emissions-free City fleet by 2030, continued investment in bus priority lanes, update Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, implementation and funding plan for low-pollution neighborhoods (goal of at least 3 by Q12028)

2022 – Green New Deal Oversight Board is seated and makes first second of recommendations

2023 – Seattle passes the Building Emissions Standards Policy, which requires large commercial buildings to decarbonize and establishes a timeline that has all buildings completing the transition to clean energy by 2050. It is expected to cut Seattle's overall emissions by 10%.

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