14 June 2017

Seattle vows to uphold Paris Agreement on climate change

The city of Seattle in Washington has expressed its “commitment to meet or exceed” the goals of the Paris Agreement following a vote in the City Council.

On Monday 12 June, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a resolution committing the city to uphold its portion of the United States’ former commitment under the Paris Agreement.

The resolution also affirmed Seattle’s own target to reduce city greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 58 per cent, compared to 2008 levels, by 2030.

In addition, the Council has appealed to Washington energy company Puget Sound Energy to cease using coal in its operations by 2025 and to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy sources.

Puget Sound Energy provides natural gas services and electricity to nearly 2 million customers in the region, and around a third of its electric power supply comes from coal. 

Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who chairs the committee on sustainability and transportation, said Seattle needed to join other U.S. cities committing themselves to the environmental standards.

O’Brien said: “The City will do its part, and I’m asking Puget Sound Energy to do the same.”

Earlier this month, the city of Santa Barbara in California became the 30th city in the U.S. and the first city on the Central Coast to commit to transition to 100 per cent renewables, following a City Council vote on 6 June.

Other cities in the U.S. committing to 100 per cent renewables include: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; Madison, Wisconsin; Abita Springs in Louisiana; Pueblo, Colorado; and Moab, Utah.

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