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 also include outlier heat events and wildfires. These changes are wreaking economic havoc and hurting human health.
The Bellingham City Council supports local efforts to attack climate change at its source. Critical activities include electrification of transportation and buildings, achieving 100% renewable electricity supply, and reducing waste of energy and materials.
Implementing the Climate Protection Action Plan
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 communitywide. 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 identify actions to accelerate achievement of CAP targets. City staff are working on programs and investments to implement the CAP. The City Council has convened a series of discussions to help ensure a just transition so that new jobs created by climate action programs are equitably available and that future job dislocations are addressed.
- Video, July 11, 2022, Discussion of Labor Concerns Related to Climate Action Efforts
- Video, November 7, 2022, Update on Community Carbon Pollution Levels
- Video, February 28, 2022, 2022 Climate Implementation Plan
- Video, February 28, 2022, Update on the Issues and Policies for a Just Transition to a Clean Energy Workforce
- Video, February 7, 2022, Presentation on Issues and Policies for a Just Transition to a Clean Energy Workforce
- 2021 Climate Implementation Priorities
- Climate Protection Action Plan, 2018 update
- Climate Action Task Force Final Report
- Recent Council meetings on CAP implementation and priorities
City Council Town Hall on Climate Action
In 2022, the City Council held a series of Town Hall meetings on issues of importance to the City and Bellingham residents. The March Town Hall focused on Climate Action.
- Video, May 9, 2022, Council Debrief – Town Hall Meeting: Community Voices on Climate Action
- Video, March 21, 2022, Town Hall, Community Voices on Climate Action
Building Electrification Ordinance
In 2022, City staff drafted an ordinance to amend the City’s version of the State Energy Code to require increased efficiency, encourage solar installations, and require that water and space heating be all-electric for commercial and 4+ story multifamily buildings. The ordinance was passed by Council on January 24, 2022.
- Video, January 24, 2022, A Work Session on Amendments to the Energy Code for Multifamily and Commercial Buildings
- Video, December 13, 2021, Public Hearing on Amendments to the Energy Code for Multifamily and Comercial Buildings
Other city programs or resources
- Renewable energy permitting program
- Green building program.
- LED retrofit of all City-owned street lights
- Electric vehicle charging expansion
- Energy saving programs
- Ordinance to reduce single use plastics