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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY
SUBJECT: Nickels Celebrates Major Climate Protection Milestone
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
5/15/2007  10:00:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:


Nickels Celebrates Major Climate Protection Milestone
Tulsa, Okla. pushes global warming pact over 500 mark

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels announced today that more than 500 cities across the country have now joined the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emission in their communities.

Nickels announced the milestone in Seattle while New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced it in New York where leaders from 40 of the world’s largest cities are meeting to discuss solutions to the threat of global warming. Nickels was invited to the Large Cities Climate Summit to talk about Seattle’s ongoing efforts to curb climate pollution but was unable to attend.

“The demand for action on climate protection is growing every day, in big cities and small towns, in the heartland and on the coasts - and now across the world,” Nickels said. “What started in Seattle as a protest against federal policies of delay and denial has become a coalition of communities across America that are making a difference in the future of our planet.”

Bloomberg held a press conference in the Essex House Hotel, which is hosting the climate conference. Bloomberg, who signed the Seattle-based climate protection agreement, recently released a plan to curb New York’s climate pollution.

To date, 514 cities have joined the agreement that Nickels launched just over two years ago. Together, they are home to 65.5 million Americans, about 20 percent of the U.S. population. Tulsa, Okla., Mayor Kathy Taylor was the 500th mayor to sign the agreement

Seattle is taking bold action under Mayor Nickels to reach its goal of cutting the city’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent by 2012.

  • Seattle City Light is the first major electric utility in the country to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emission.


  • Seattle’s Center City plan is encouraging more residential growth in and around our downtown core, where people are within walking distance to work, shopping, transit and entertainment.


  • City government has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent below 1990 levels and is working to reduce them even more.


  • Nickels has pledged to make Seattle the Green Building Capitol of the country. So far, the City of Seattle has 17 energy-efficient, LEED-qualified buildings completed or under construction. Some 28 private developments in Seattle are LEED-certified, with 126 more under construction or being planned.


  • Seattle’s first light-rail line linking downtown to the airport is under construction and set to open in 2009.


  • Seattle’s first modern streetcar line will open later this year linking the fast-growing areas of downtown, Denny Triangle and South Lake Union neighborhoods.


  • Seattle is working with Metro to expand bus service throughout the city, including the enhanced Rapid Ride bus service to Ballard, West Seattle and North Seattle.


  • Seattle is doubling the number of bike lanes and improving pedestrian safety to encourage alternatives to driving.


  • Seattle’s Climate Action Partnership has recruited 40 local companies to take action to cut emissions.


  • Major grassroots campaign will launch this fall to help residents cut emissions at home, at work and on the road.

Next month, Nickels will work to pass a resolution of the U.S. Conference of Mayors embracing a national goal of an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a national emissions trading system.

For more information on the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, go to: www.seattle.gov/mayor/climate

Visit the mayor’s web site at www.seattle.gov/mayor. Get the mayor’s inside view on initiatives to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsletter_signup.htm

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