In 2016, Climate Solutions completed the seventh and final year of our successful New Energy Cities program. Combining research on urban carbon reduction best practices and partnering with Northwest cities and counties, we helped local communities accelerate carbon emissions reduction through climate and clean energy goal-setting, clean energy transition planning, policy development, program design, and implementation.
Our New Energy Cities program continued to work with the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C), a voluntary coalition of King County and 13 cities united in their goal to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 supporting efforts to get underway with achieving its 90% renewable electricity by 2030. New Energy Cities formed a partnership with Stockholm Environment Institute to provide energy maps and carbon wedge analyses for Everett, WA (Snohomish County) and Olympia, WA (Thurston County). Our existing partnership with Tukwila, WA showed encouraging progress, with city leadership and staff eager to make deep carbon reductions in their community.
Climate Solutions is proud of New Energy Cities and its seven years of success. Although we phased out the program at the end of 2016, Climate Solutions will continue to help our city and county partners create political momentum to inform policy and drive carbon emissions reduction at the state and regional levels.
Puget Sound Energy is a crucial player on Washington's path toward a clean energy future, but its 20-year resource plan falls significantly short on the urgency and boldness we need to make deep, near-term carbon reduction.
Today in Portland, five west coast mayors announced aggressive commitments to aggressive action on both climate change and equity. The announcement comes directly after a Paris gathering of international mayors talking climate change; it also closely follows the groundbreaking climate resolutions passed last month in Portland. Here's the story of how those resolutions came to be.
Cities (or "sub-nationals," in international climate negotiations-speak) are at the vanguard of where real climate solutions are being implemented around the world. That will remain true in the years ahead, no matter how ambitious an agreement emerges from the COP21 climate talks in Paris this month--local and state governments will be shouldering much of the load of creative carbon emissions reduction, of energy efficiency improvements, and of access to renewable energy.
The Urban Clean Energy Revolution report details the state of play of low-carbon cities and describes a rich array of best practices and examples of urban clean energy innovation and carbon reduction.
The international climate talks are a moment in time for forward-looking urban leaders to demonstrate the collective political will they have amassed for bold climate action, and to show how far they have already come in reducing carbon emissions.
Urban leaders are increasingly aligning their carbon reduction and clean energy agendas with other important community priorities—such as air quality, transportation, social equity, economic development, and climate change resilience. In doing so, they forge stronger and more diverse coalitions for climate action.
Dedicated funding is a critical ingredient for urban clean energy action, but securing it is one of the most persistent challenges that local governments face today. Some leading communities are marching ahead on their own.
Leading local governments do not travel alone on the road of climate action-- they partner with other jurisdictions and networks to get deeper and faster results. These collaborations have turned low-carbon city efforts into a movement.