Mayor Durkan Commits City of Seattle to New Actions to Fight Climate Change through Executive Order on Green New Deal

City will no longer build municipal
buildings with fossil fuels, announces applications for youth climate council
to advise the City 

Seattle (January 8, 2020) – Mayor Durkan
signed an Executive
today committing Seattle to new steps to combat climate change.
The order requires that all new or substantially altered City of Seattle
buildings operate without fossil fuels, and by January 2021, the City will
develop a strategy to eliminate fossil fuel use in existing City buildings.
Through the Executive Order announced today, the City will set an example that
buildings can and should operate entirely without fossil fuels.

“We must eliminate our City’s reliance on fossil fuels –
from cars to buildings,” said Mayor Durkan. “More than half of the world’s
population lives in cities. We have an opportunity in Seattle to chart the
right response to climate change, and that starts with actions like the ones we
announced today to limit our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Executive
also directs City department to work with the Green New Deal
Oversight Board and the Mayor’s Youth Climate Council to integrate the
following Green New Deal principles into City work:

  • Reduce pollution at the rate of progress scientists say is necessary to limit average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C; 
  • Promote economic opportunity and inclusive access to stable, well-paying jobs; and
  • Advance environmental justice by ensuring the benefits and investments of the clean energy transition accrue to those communities and populations historically most burdened by the fossil fuel economy. 

The Executive Order also improves the City’s data collection
and sharing process on GHG emissions, requires annual Green New Deal reports
through 2030, and directs the Office of Sustainability & Environment to
engage stakeholders like the philanthropic community, business community, labor
community, non-governmental organizations, health care community, county and
state agencies, state legislators, and tribes achieve the goals of the Green
New Deal.

The Executive Order directs departments to outline the
actions and investments necessary to eliminate fossil fuel use in municipal
buildings. Buildings with existing plans for substantial alterations and new
buildings will be immediately prioritized for design without fossil fuel use. A
strategy to eliminate fossil fuel use in existing City of Seattle buildings and
projects will also be developed by an Interdepartmental Team of City
departments by January 2021.

The Mayor and OSE also announced today that the City is
investing $250,000, through the Environmental Justice Fund, to seven
community-based projects to improve environmental conditions and respond to the
impacts of climate change. Funding of up to $40,000 was awarded to projects
that will be led by and benefit those most impacted by environmental and
climate issues, including communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and
Indigenous people. You
can find more information on these investments here

Applications for the Mayor’s Youth Climate Council will open
next week. Any Seattle resident between the ages of 16 and 22, who is
passionate about averting the climate emergency and environmental justice is
encouraged to apply.