King County-Cities Climate Collaboration

Established in 2011, the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) is a voluntary but formal partnership of King County and 13 cities forged with the idea that neighboring local governments can achieve deeper results on climate solutions by working together.

Representing 75 percent of the county’s 2 million residents, the K4C currently includes King County and the cities of Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Normandy Park, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Seattle, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, and Tukwila.

To date, the K4C has worked together to:

  • Adopt formal, shared countywide carbon emissions reduction targets of 25 percent by 2020, 50 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050 (compared to a 2007 base year).
  • Map out specific action commitments to reduce emissions that are tailored to King County’s emissions profile, city and county development patterns, and local government areas of influence.
  • Catalyze municipal policy and code changes, joint grant funding proposals, and increased influence among other stakeholders at the state level.
  • Advocate for state policy that enables local governments to achieve their clean energy goals.
  • Explore the potential to partner with local utilities and businesses to jointly invest in and develop a large-scale renewable energy project, such as wind or solar.
  • Share technical support and learning across K4C members.

As a result of the partnership, K4C staff and elected officials from cities large and small now have an extensive network of experts and peers on whom they can count for best practice information, lessons learned, tools, and resources.

Climate Solutions’ New Energy Cities program has been one of the K4C’s primary partners. In 2014, the K4C commissioned a carbon wedge analysis from New Energy Cities to depict what it would take for King County to cut its regional carbon emissions in half by 2030 (50x30).

This analysis formed the basis of the K4C’s joint county-city climate commitments, which are specific, time-based pathways that add up to the 50x30 goal—including a target of sourcing 90% of its electricity countywide from renewables by 2030. New Energy Cities has continued to work with the K4C on implementation of the commitments, including exploring a building energy benchmarking initiative, teeing up a countywide clean energy transition plan, and promoting electrified transportation.

Author Bio

Eileen V. Quigley is Founder and Executive Director of the Clean Energy Transition Institute, which develops research and analytics to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy in the Northwest.

From 2017-2019, Eileen led development of the Northwest Deep Decarbonization Pathways study and wrote the report of its findings, Meeting the Challenge of Our Time: Pathways to a Clean Energy Future for the Northwest, the first economy-wide analysis of decarbonization pathways mapped to the Northwest’s economic and institutional realities.

Eileen spent seven years from 2009-2016 at Climate Solutions serving as Director of Strategic Innovation and oversaw the New Energy Cities, Sustainable Advanced Fuels/a>, and Northwest Biocarbon Initiative programs.

She currently serves on the Board of Stockholm Environment Institute-US and the Advisory Board of Western Washington University’s Institute for Energy Studies. Eileen received her Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Yale University.

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