Bellingham Climate Goals

The City of Bellingham has been leading the way on climate action in the public sector for nearly two decades. In 2005, Bellingham City Council committed to the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign and its five milestones, which resulted in Bellingham’s 2007 Climate Protection Action Plan. The City has since completed the five Climate Protection milestones and renewed its commitment to greenhouse gas emissions reductions in its Climate Action Plan 2018 Update. The Climate Action Plan will now be updated every 5 years, beginning in 2018.

In May 2018, Bellingham City Council passed a resolution to create the Climate Action Plan Task Force, a group of community members with experience in relevant fields. The Task Force produced a final report in December 2019 with recommendations for how Bellingham can accelerate our 100% renewable energy targets.

Proposed measures from the Climate Action Plan and Task Force Final Report are evaluated each year to determine which measures will be added to our annual climate work plan, or Implementation Plan.

We are committed to achieving the municipal (City) and community greenhouse gas emissions goals identified in our Climate Action Plan by the specified target dates, or sooner if possible. Below is a summary of the emissions reduction goals that we seek to achieve through our work.

Emissions Reduction Targets

2012 Target2015 Actual Emissions2020 Target2030 Target2050 Target
Municipal-64% emissions from 2000 levels. Exceeded (-69.5%).-68.3% from 2000 levels-70% from 2000 levels-85% from 2000 levels-100% from 2000 levels
Community-7% emissions from 2000 levels. Exceeded (-17%). -10.4% from 2000 levels-28% from 2000 levels-40% from 2000 levels -85% from 2000 levels

Municipal Emissions Goals

By 2030, we seek to further reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions to 85% below 2000 levels by addressing emissions associated with our water and wastewater treatment facilities, buildings and facilities, vehicle fleet, employee commute, streetlights and traffic signals, and solid waste facilities. By 2050, we aim to reduce these emissions by 100% below 2000 levels, making the city government carbon neutral.

Community Emissions Goals

By 2030, we seek to help the Bellingham community reduce its emissions by 70% below 2000 levels by addressing the commercial, industrial, solid waste, transportation, and residential sectors. The community emissions target for 2050 is 85% below 2000 levels.

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We are adjusting some City operations due to the current COVID-19 surge, prioritizing essential services and the safety of employees and the public.