In its Sixth Assessment Report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted that “human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the last 2000 years.” Results are all around us — weather volatility and intensification of weather extremes, stronger and wetter storms, and unprecedented flooding. Devastating effects on the northwest include prolonged drought, outlier heat events, and wildfires. These changes are wreaking economic havoc and hurting human health.
To avoid a tipping point where temperature averages will exceed 1.5 degrees, with catastrophic effects across the globe, government, business, and household practices must change. The Bellingham City Council supports local efforts to attack climate change at its source via increased energy efficiency and switching from fossil fuels to low carbon energy sources. Critical activities include electrification of transportation and buildings, achieving a 100% renewable utility grid, and reducing waste of energy and materials.
Climate Protection Action Plan and Task Force
Bellingham has a Climate Protection Action Plan (CAP), created in 2007 and updated in 2018, with targets for reducing energy use and emissions in City operations and in the broader community. On May 7, 2018, the Bellingham City Council passed Resolution 2018-06 endorsing the 2018 Plan and creating a Climate Action Plan Task Force to explore whether achievement of the CAP targets can be accelerated. City staff are working to implement the CAP and to accelerate targets whenever possible.
- Climate Protection Action Plan, 2018 update
- Climate Action Task Force Final Report
- 2021 Climate Implementation Priorities
- Recent Council meetings on CAP implementation and priorities
Other city programs or resources
- Renewable energy permitting program
- Green building program.
- LED retrofit of all City-owned street lights
- Community Solar array on the water treatment plant
- Electric vehicle charging expansion
- Energy saving programs
- Ordinance to reduce single use plastics