Green New Deal Executive Order

The Mayor issued this executive order in Jan. 2020 in response to the City Council's passage of the Green New Deal. It calls for the following:

  • All City departments to work with the Green New Deal Oversight Board, the Mayor's Youth Climate Council, and other stakeholders. The City department should advance actions that reduce GHG to amount commensurate with 1.5C temperature rise, promote economic opportunity and inclusive access to stable well-paying jobs, and advance environmental justice. Update: Mayor has since eliminated the Green New Deal Oversight Board by cutting the staff position deemed necessary for it, and suggested the Office of Sustainability's Environmental Justice Committee instead. There is no sign that city departments are working with these groups on climate related activities.

  • The City to establish a Green New Deal City Team coordinated by OSE to identify actions that achieve the goals of the GND for Seattle. Here are except's from the order:

The Team shall collectively engage in advancing high-impact climate actions, including but not limited to building performance standards for decarbonizing existing and future buildings; dense, inclusive land use with access to green space; affordable, high-occupancy, electrified transportation; pricing for equitable mobility; and a fossil-free zone in Seattle.

The Team shall develop priority City actions to align with community-wide, regional, state, federal, and other actions critical to advance an equitable transition away from fossil fuels and deliver on the goals of a Green New Deal for Seattle.

The Team shall issue a brief report identifying the top 10 actions the City could take in order to achieve marked and expeditious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The report shall outline the various actions, impacts and costs of those actions, and an RSJI analysis of those actions by June 1, 2020.

The Team shall study the feasibility of the City of Seattle purchasing renewable natural gas (RNG) for use in buildings and the transportation fleet as they transition to the exclusive use of electricity.

The Team shall engage with local businesses, workforce development organizations, and the labor community to identify and strengthen pathways to economic opportunity for those workers most impacted by the transition to a clean economy and to ensure workers are well matched to jobs created by emerging clean industries.

Green New Deal for Seattle actions shall be included in department work plans and shall be reflected in Department Director annual Accountability Agreements when applicable.

The Office of Sustainability & Environment shall facilitate semi-annual engagements with the Green New Deal Oversight Board, and other stakeholders as needed, to deepen collaboration and partnership around Green New Deal actions and outcomes.

The Team shall work with the City Budget Office to prepare a Green New Deal budget memo for consideration in City’s budget process by June 1, 2020 and thereafter annually.

Update: We believe that the group was convened, but operations were suspended with the onset of the coronavirus in March, and that no further work has been done. We do not have any formal announcement of what the plans are going forward. The City is conducting studies on "15 minute communities" which may eventually lead to land use changes to increase density and inclusiveness. Affordable, high occupancy electrified transportation is not happening - transit budgets are slashed and much of the SDOT funding is going to the West Seattle bridge repair or replacement. We have heard nothing about a fossil-free zone in Seattle.

  • The city will conduct outreach to the community on how best to achieve the GND goals. OSE shall work with Office of Intergovernmental Relations and the Mayor’s Office to engage stakeholders on collaborative efforts to develop additional City policies, inform and support necessary funding and investments, and advance opportunities for partnership on actions that achieve the goals of the Green New Deal. These entities may include, but are not limited to, the philanthropic community, business community, labor community, non-governmental organizations, health care community, county and state agencies, state legislators, and tribes. Update: No update available.

  • The city will draw up a plan for electrifying all municipal buildings. The Electrification Strategy for any new municipal buildings or municipal buildings with planned substantial alterations during the 2021 or 2022 budgets shall be completed by June 1, 2020. The Electrification Strategy for all other municipal buildings, projects in permitting or previously approved agreements shall be completed by January 1, 2021. Update: We believe that the budget has largely preserved funding for planning electrification, but retrofits on existing buildings are suspended due to coronavirus impacts. We don't know if the Electrification Strategy scheduled for June 2020 was completed, or if not, whether it has been canceled or postponed. Nor do we know when to expect the Electrification Strategy for all other municipal buildings.

  • The city will develop a GHG dashboard by Sept 30, 2020, that will contain key indicators so we will have more rapid feedback on the change in GHG emissions.

  • The city will add regular reviews to its schedule to review progress on climate initiatives. The City Team shall report to the Mayor’s Capital and Climate and Environment Subcabinets and solicit input from the subcabinets on the workplan and progress measures. The City Team shall report annually to the Mayor’s Cabinet on carbon pollution reductions and progress toward advancing a Green New Deal for Seattle, including the climate dashboard and biennial update of the citywide greenhouse gas inventory. The City Team will report to the City Council by July 1, 2020 and provide annual reports through 2030 on Seattle’s progress on eliminating climate pollution and advancing a Green New Deal for Seattle. Update: the City Team appears to be suspended or disbanded.