Edmonds, WA Fired Up about a Clean Energy Future

Climate Solutions’ New Energy Cities program recently added a new pioneer city to its roster:  Edmonds, WA. 

At the end of January, over 60 Edmonds community leaders, including the Mayor of Edmonds Mike Cooper and Edmonds City Council President Strom Peterson, Steve Klein, General Manager of Snohomish PUD, and other business leaders and citizens rolled up their sleeves to look at how the city can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions levels to 25% below 1995 levels by 2035.

To become a Pioneer City, a community must have the following:

  • Bold, innovative political leaders
  • Local utilities willing to collaborate
  • Business community that sees the value of investing in clean energy
  • An engaged citizenry that wants to embrace a clean energy future

The City of Edmonds scored high on all four criteria.  Mayor Cooper and the Edmonds City Council have placed addressing greenhouse gas reduction high on their lists and they have committed time, money, and top city staff to developing a new energy agenda that will carry the city forward for two decades.

Snohomish County Public Utilities is one of the most innovative utilities in the country.  Edmonds’ business community is open to the promise of clean energy and several citizen groups, especially Sustainable Edmonds, are deeply engaged in helping Edmonds be a pioneer in managing its energy sustainably.

At the Workshop, participants designed a road map with specific projects; debated policy changes that would enable energy efficiency and clean energy efforts; weighed the merits of various financing models; and began the critical discussion about a community engagement strategy.

Howard Chermak, President of Chermak Construction, Inc. said, “I found their process to be nothing short of remarkable, they presented in a professional manner and with actionable goals.”

Two articles have appeared about the workshop, this one in the Edmonds Patch, while the Workshop was taking place and this one in the Enterprise on February 16, 2011.

Assistant Fire Chief Thomas J. Tomberg Snohomish County Fire District No. 1 described the Workshop as:  “Timely subject expertly facilitated by professionals in an inclusive environment that produced tangible take-home results based on prudent use of resources in a way that makes good business sense.”

The agenda and materials presented at the Workshop can be found here. Next steps include completing the Road Map and the Action Plan, which will be done by early March.

Edmonds is fired up and ready to go!

Eileen V. Quigley's picture
, Climate Solutions

Eileen V. Quigley is Principal of Clean Energy Transition, which promotes strategies to achieve deep decarbonization and accelerate the transition from fossil fuel to clean energy. Eileen co-authored Powering the New Energy Future from the Ground Up: Priorities in City-Led Energy Innovation, a report on 34 American cities with fewer than 250,000 residents that are reducing their dependence upon fossil fuels for energy. She also co-authored Natural Infrastructure: A Climate-Smart Solution, a report on the role that natural infrastructure plays in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, removing carbon pollution, and building resilience to impacts of climate change. In May 2015, Eileen was asked by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung foundation to deliver a paper and presentation, Revolution Required: Meeting Current and Future Energy Challenges, at Kühne Logistics Universität in Hamburg, Germany for the City of Tomorrow Series. She currently serves on the board of Stockholm Environment Institute-US and the advisory board of the Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington.

Eileen received her Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Yale University. She tweets @evquigley.