Climate Change

Charting the path to Carbon Neutral by 2050.

Addressing climate change is a top concern for Seattle. Climate protection initiatives are woven throughout Seattle city policies, programs and planning efforts. The Office of Sustainability & Environment is the primary driver behind Seattle climate policy development, but nearly every city department plays a role in protecting and enhancing the climate.  

Climate change is not a stand-alone issue separate from the other issues that cities face. It is rooted in land use, transportation, energy use, and consumption patterns that have evolved over generations. The City of Seattle is pursuing a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and recently adopted the Seattle Climate Action Plan  as the first step toward achieving that goal. 

OSE's work on climate is focused in the following areas:

Climate Action Plan
Seattle Climate Action Plan puts Seattle on a path to carbon neutrality by 2050
Adaptation Planning
Even though Seattle continues to be a leader in reducing our climate impacts, we will not be immune to the effects of climate change.
Community Climate Projects
Supporting community-led climate action ideas
Community Climate Forums
Quarterly forums where residents and grassroots sustainability organizations engage with City staff around the City’s on-going climate action work.

Measuring Progress


pie chart of 2012 GHG emissions sourcesThe Office of Sustainability & Environment tracks and measures Seattle's greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis. Called greenhouse gas inventories, these reports identify the source and amount of greenhouse gas production across the city of Seattle, as well as from city operations. Greenhouse gas inventories inform planning and help monitor progress made toward our climate protection goals.

Citywide Inventories
OSE conducts a community greenhouse gas inventory every three to four years. 

Municipal Operations Inventory 
Also known as a "corporate inventory", this inventory measures emissions from operation of Seattle's municipal buildings and fleets, landfills, employee air travel, commutes, and solid waste, and from electricity purchased through contracts to supplement the City's hydropower. Our next municipal operations inventory will be completed in 2014.