Innovative local government efforts to confront climate change have earned the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration a national leadership award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Since 2011, King County and a growing list of local cities — including the City of Issaquah — have been working across political boundaries to set targets, pool resources and make true progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and confronting climate change.
Now, the King County-Cities Collaboration, or K4C, has won a 2016 Climate Leadership Award from the EPA.
"Through this collaboration, King County and partner cities are stepping up to the greatest environmental, public health and economic threat the Puget Sound region has ever faced," said King County Executive Dow Constantine on behalf of K4C. "Together, we are confronting climate change by partnering on solutions from clean energy to transit to forest protection. We are honored to receive a 2016 Climate Leadership Award."
Honored for "Innovative Partnerships," K4C is one of only 17 organizations, partnerships or individuals across the United States to win the prestigious recognition from the EPA.
K4C is a voluntary but formal partnership that was formed based on the recognition that neighboring local governments can achieve greater action on climate solutions by working together.
Since its inception, K4C has grown to 14 member jurisdictions, representing 75 percent of the county's 2 million residents. K4C's accomplishments include:
- Supporting formal adoption of shared near and long term countywide greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 25 percent by 2020, 50 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050 (2007 baseline).
- Developing a comprehensive shared vision and policy framework for confronting climate change that addresses energy supply, green building, land use, forests and more.
- Mapping out specific action commitments to reduce emissions that are tailored to King County energy sources, city and county development patterns, and local government areas of influence.
- Partnering on municipal policy and code changes, joint grant funding proposals, and increased influence among other stakeholders at the state level.
- Exploring 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.
- Sharing technical support and learning across K4C members. K4C staff and elected officials from cities large and small now have an extensive network of people on whom they can count for expertise, lessons learned, tools and resources.