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Mayor Jenny Durkan Applauds Council’s Passage of Green New Deal Resolution, Commits to Executive Order Directing City Departments to Expedite Climate Action

SEATTLE (August 12, 2019) – Mayor Jenny Durkan today reiterated the City’s commitment to Seattle’s Climate Action Plan and applauded City Council’s vote to approve a resolution in support the Green New Deal.

In April 2018, Mayor Durkan announced Seattle’s Climate Action Plan, which includes many of the key goals of the Green New Deal.

Today, she committed to expediting climate action by issuing an Executive Order directing City departments to evaluate how they can accelerate their action items under the City’s Climate Action Plan, and how Seattle can best meet the goals of the Green New Deal.

To help fulfill a key commitment of the Climate Action Plan, Mayor Durkan had announced last week her plan to speed up the conversion of Seattle’s homes that burn oil for heat to cleaner electric heating.

“Climate change is one of the gravest threats we face and the solutions to climate change must also be solutions that address income inequality and racial inequity. Governor Inslee said it well when he said ‘our house is on fire,’ said Mayor Durkan. “Because of the tireless work of advocates and community leaders, Seattle has been a leader in fighting climate change and addressing environmental inequities. In Seattle, we have been moving ahead on our Climate Action Plan, which includes many of the major components of the Green New Deal. We are implementing legislation to create more green buildings, ensuring fair treatment of workers, providing free transit to young people and our low-income neighbors, electrifying our City vehicle fleet, expanding access to transit, creating a city with fewer cars and more safe routes for walking, biking, and rolling, working toward equitable implementation of congestion pricing, and advancing community-based plans like the Duwamish Valley Action Plan.

“While they debate the Green New Deal in the other Washington, we must continue to do more in Seattle. I am grateful for the continued advocacy and vision of our community members for a Green New Deal for Seattle,” continued Mayor Durkan. “Building on this resolution, I will issue an Executive Order to the City’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental directing them to work with and learn from community members and evaluate how we can best accelerate our Climate Action Plan and meet the goals of the Green New Deal for Seattle. Building on many of the ongoing initiatives, we need to prioritize key steps and develop a plan for implementing these steps while identifying any major funding gaps. All our City departments must work together towards achieving the goals of the Green New Deal for Seattle.”

“As a City, we will continue to invest in more housing near transit, electrify buses and other shared mobility, and increase access to safe pedestrian and bike infrastructure. Seattle has prioritized and will continue to be a national leader in fighting climate change, but also working to ensure true opportunity for communities that have disproportionally shouldered the weight of environmental injustice, like South Park, Beacon Hill, and Rainier Valley,” concluded Mayor Durkan. “The communities hit the hardest by climate change are most often our historically underserved communities of color, and as we develop and implement new policies, we must continue to evaluate the race and social justice impacts.”

In late July, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked Seattle #3 in the nation on their 2019 Clean Energy Scorecard, specifically highlighting Seattle’s commitment to an equity-driven approach to clean energy planning and offering energy efficiency programs targeting low-income and multifamily customers.