King County-Cities Climate Collaboration

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The King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) is a consortium of King County and the 11 cities of Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Redmond, Renton, Seattle, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, and Tukwila, which represent 1.5 million people and nearly 75% of the County’s population. King County and these cities formally collaborate through Interlocal Agreements that commit the partners to dedicate staff and annual funding to coordinate and enhance the effectiveness of local government climate and sustainability action.

Since its inception in 2011, the K4C has partnered with the King County GreenTools technical assistance program to develop and implement the award-winning Sustainable Cities Roundtables, a series of green building and climate change trainings, discussions, and workshops for local government staff, often featuring national experts. The K4C has also developed resources for cities on municipal revolving energy funds, social marketing trainings, and sustainability messaging.

In 2014, K4C decided to collaborate more deeply on regional carbon reduction, and partnered with New Energy Cities on:

  • A countywide Energy Map and Carbon Wedge analysis, depicting what it would take to achieve 50 percent community-wide carbon reduction by 2030.
  • Presentation of the Carbon Wedge findings and related proposals for target-setting and a shared carbon reduction work program at two elected official summits on February 13, 2014 and June 12, 2014, convened by the King County Executive and attended by 11 King County city local elected officials. 
  • Presentations to individual city councils, the King County City Managers Association, and the Sound Cities Association’s Public Issues Committee, contributing to the Growth Management Planning Council’s adoption of countywide carbon reduction targets on July 23, 2014.
  • Two strategy maps recommending how the K4C can move forward on energy efficiency, energy supply, and transportation commitments, and a 2015-2016 work plan to begin executing these strategies.
  • A third elected official working summit on January 8, 2015, at which King County and the nine founding cities of the K4C announced their formal adoption of joint county-city climate commitments, and endorsed a 2015-2016 work plan.

The K4C has been instrumental in organizing communities to make other collaborative statements, including: a July 2013 letter to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on Puget Sound Energy’s long-term plan for the Colstrip coal power plant; a December 2013 letter to the Washington State Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup, in support of bold climate action; and a December 2014 media statement welcoming Governor Inslee’s climate proposal.

New Energy Cities and K4C continue to focus on implementation of the joint county-city climate commitments.