CLIMATE ACTION PRIORITIES FOR CITIES (Rev 2) by People for Climate Action (Feb 23, 2021)
Preface to the actions worksheets
People for Climate Action (PCA) is a coalition of 15 grassroots city groups (as of July, 2020) in King County, WA.
PCA's Mission is to help our cities equitably reach the greenhouse gas reduction goals set by the King County Cities
|Climate Collaboration (K4C). Our current focus is on the 2030 goal of 50% reduction from a 2007 baseline.|
Why Cities? Cities account for 70% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Cities Can Do a Lot. PCA has researched actions taken in many cities across the country. We have identified
|twelve categories of actions that cites can take to reduce climate change.|
Twelve Climate Action Categories:
|(1) Green Building & Energy Efficiency (7) Community Engagement, Outreach & Education|
(2) Transportation & Land Use (8) Climate Change Preparation
(3) Climate Justice & Equity (9) Government Operations
(4) Materials Consumption & Waste Management (10) Utilities & Energy
(5) Food Habits & Food Waste (11) State Climate Policy Advocacy
(6) Forests, Tree Canopy, Soils & Farming (12) Oversight and Coordination
Priorities in this workbook
|City officials have often asked PCA members to give them a few key actions that they should take to slow climate change. It is, of course, human nature to simplify a problem and look for a few "silver bullets" to solve it. The climate change problem, however, is ubiquitous and it doesn't lend itself to a few simple solutions. In PCA's research, we have found that cities that have significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions have undertaken a large number of actions.|
PCA volunteers looked at over 300 actions from different cities. Less than 200 are recommended here. These actions have been studied, modified, and given a priority ranking of A thru D as a guide for where to focus time and energy in the implementation of actions. PCA assigned 31 actions with a high priority of A, and these are considered as "must haves". Actions with B, C, & D rankings are still very important and should be actively pursued, but the greatest amount of focus should be given to the implementation of A type actions, as these will have the biggest impact.
Refer to the TOP PRIORITIES tab for a list of the A type actions.
Note: Ranking of actions is intended for city's use and doesn't necessarily indicate the order or type of actions that an individual person can take.
Costs and Budgets
|While managing a robust municipal climate action plan will surely require some administrative expertise and oversight, PCA's opinion is that few of the individual actions will require significant maintenance once implemented. We therefore feel that funding a comprehensive city climate action program should not be viewed as an overwhelming budgetary hurdle. In relative comparison to the long-term cost consequences of doing nothing, rapid implementation of a robust and comprehensive climate action plan is certainly well worth the modest investment, and may bring economic benefits to the community. To hold down the administrative costs to individual cities, PCA highly recommends climate action planning collaboration between groups of cities. To assist cities with their budgetary work, PCA has offered a preliminary indication of the relative cost of each listed action in the COST columns of our worksheets. The cost to city government is shown in the first column, while any additional cost to a majority of city residents is shown in the second column.|
Consideration for Marginalized Community Members
|Though we've not made specific mention in the description of each listed action, we wish to emphasize that every action must be implemented with the dual intention to (a) not place a hardship on the marginalized members of a community that already bear disproportionate impacts from fossil fuel pollution, and (b) make sure that they have a clear and easy pathway to both participate in, and benefit from, all of the listed actions.|
|In most cities across King County, nearly half the greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to our buildings. Reliable studies indicate that an average building could be improved to use 50% less energy. Since a high percentage of today's existing building stock will still be with us in 2030, this section of the workbook largely focuses on existing stock. (Legislation passed in 2007 requires our state energy code to dramatically tighten every three years; consequently, new buildings will have a much smaller climate impact over the next ten years than the existing stock will have.)|
Explanation of Column Headers
|Priority Priorities are indicated as either A, B, C or D. The "A" priority actions are "must have" or necessary. "B" priority actions are very highly recommended. "C" actions are important to consider. "D" actions are optional.|
|Warming Reduction Impact We've indicated L, M or H for expected low, medium or high impacts.|
|Health Benefits We've indicated the likelihood of significant health benefits (aside from the indirect benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions) with a Yes or No.|
|Jobs and Economic Benefits Likelihood is indicated with either Yes or No.|
|Benefits to Social Equity Likelihood is indicated with either Yes or No.|
|Benefit to Nature Other than the indirect benefits of reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is indicated with a Yes or No.|
|Cost to City Government Estimated to be either near zero, low, or medium, using NZ,L,& M.|
|General Community Cost. Intended to reflect the relative amount of added cost across a majority of the community beyond any City Government taxes. General Community Costs are estimated to be either near zero, low, or medium for city residents, using NZ, L or M, respectively.|
Links to reference URLs are provided in light blue font beneath some action descriptions.
Acknowledgements. This document is the result of the combined efforts of the following PCA members:
|Steve Bolliger, Bruce Bowman, Ann Fletcher, Jonathan Harrington, Terry Jorgensen, David Malcolm, David Morton, Court Olson, Annie Phillips, Sarah Richards, Dave Russell, & Marilyn Subala.|