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Mayor Durkan Applauds City Council Passage of Her Plan to Reduce Emissions from Seattle’s Buildings

Building Sector Second Largest Source of Emissions in Seattle

Seattle (June 25) –  Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today applauded City Council’s passage of her legislation that would reduce carbon pollution from our City’s building sector, which passed by a vote of 8-0. Announced by Mayor Durkan in her first State of the City, Mayor Durkan’s proposal will offer additional height and floor space incentives for up to 20 major renovations in urban centers for significant upgrades in energy and water use, stormwater management, and better transportation efficiency based on the standards to create carbon neutral buildings.

“Seattle doesn’t have the luxury of climate denial, so we must lead the way to create some of the nation’s most sustainable buildings. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change– from wildfires that choke our air to extreme rain events that flood our streets – and they are felt most in communities that are already underserved and marginalized,” said Mayor Durkan. “Seattle can be a global climate leader by taking bold action to reduce our carbon footprint of our buildings, which is a leading contributor to greenhouse gas pollution. Our actions to reduce emissions buildings will help create a healthier, more just, and more vibrant city with more family wage jobs.”

In April, the legislation was transmitted to City Council as part of Mayor Durkan’s Climate Action Plan to fulfill Seattle’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement in the absence of federal leadership, particularly on leading contributors of greenhouse gases: transportation and buildings. After transportation, building energy is the second largest source of climate emissions in the City of Seattle.

“In order to meet the challenge of climate change, Seattle will need to continue to take bold action in both the transportation and building sectors and I am hopeful today’s action will allow for more buildings, both new and existing, to participate in our deep green programs. I am pleased with the Council’s vote today and look forward to more Council action in support of our carbon-reduction goals,” said Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle)

“The City of Seattle is a great partner and innovator in helping the building sector achieve energy efficiency goals,” said Susan Wickwire, Executive Director of the Seattle 2030 District. “These building energy strategies involve multiple sectors—commercial, home, municipal—showing that all types of buildings can contribute to positive climate outcomes.”

As part of the City’s ongoing commitment to leading by example, Mayor Durkan’s strategy calls for City departments to assess the GHG emissions and cost impact of City plans, policies, and major investments.  The Office of Sustainability & Environment will be responsible for tracking the progress of these climate initiatives and reporting back to City Council.