An update to the King County climate action plan should include an environmental justice framing as it’s developed over the coming months.
The King County Metropolitan Council voted Dec. 11 to include environmental justice into its update, which is due out next summer. The ordinance asks the county executive to include environmental justice as it prepares the update. An additional section requested was to include more planning and direction to a green jobs program.
Council member Claudia Balducci said the green jobs portion of an updated plan will be important as the county seeks to move away from fossil fuel industries.
“There are a lot of people who work in jobs that support the fossil fuel industries, and those people need to survive, they need to make a living,” she said.
Council member Dave Upthegrove said the executive is already including equity into its planning, but that it was important for the council to reinforce that work. It also asked for the climate action plan to have economic analysis and planning for economic transition into a clean opportunity.
The county’s current climate action plan was adopted in 2015 and has provided a blueprint for reducing emissions and preparing for climate change. It focused on county operations as well as emissions countywide. County government itself accounts for less than 2% of greenhouse gas emissions, which means the county needs to partner with cities and residents to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050, compared to a 2007 baseline.