In 2008, Tacoma's Climate Action Plan (CAP) was adopted to establish carbon reduction goals and strategies for the City and community. Recently, the CAP was used to inform and create the Environmental Action Plan, which now supersedes the CAP.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Monitoring
The Office of Environmental Policy & Sustainability, in partnership with the Sustainable Tacoma Commission, monitors greenhouse gas reductions and sustainability efforts made by the City of Tacoma and the community.
Tacoma's Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Reduction Goals
History - Green Ribbon Task Force
Tacoma’s public commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions dates back to 2005, when then-Mayor Bill Baarsma signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.
In early 2007, the Tacoma City Council and Mayor Bill Baarsma commissioned the Green Ribbon Task Force on Climate Change to make recommendations to the City Council, defining strategies that the community could take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The intention was to implement steps to ensure the City could align itself with the reduction goals stated in the Kyoto Protocol.
Twenty-five members were appointed to the Task Force by the Tacoma City Council, representing a wide cross section of the community. The diverse set of interests represented by the Task Force included business and trade advocates, environmental advocates, government agencies, higher education and the health community. Tacoma’s Green Ribbon Task Force was assigned the responsibility of producing the City of Tacoma Climate Action Plan (CAP), ensuring the growth of the community’s capacity to achieve sustainable development.
For more than a year, the Task Force reviewed climate action plans from numerous cities, as well as state and regional efforts in order to identify and develop unique strategies for the community. The Task Force recognized the importance of enlisting an engaged urban citizenry willing to actively participate in strategies aimed at reducing human impacts on the environment.
The Task Force welcomed and encouraged public input on their proposed strategies. They held a series of public meetings with more than 60 participants, outlining their recommendations. In addition, the Task Force implemented an online survey, providing an alternative opportunity for participation and comment with residents who were unable to attend the public meetings.
Public engagement efforts were intended to initiate and contribute to a city-wide discussion about sustainable urban development with the idea of developing a new system of local policymaking and practice. After reviewing all of the input, the Task Force adopted its final recommendations in May 2008.
Green Ribbon Task Force members, with the help of the community, identified more than 40 new climate action strategies to complement existing initiatives which were already in progress or soon to be implemented. These strategies made up the essence of The Climate Action Plan which was adopted unanimously by the Tacoma City Council on July 1, 2008.
Numerous articles in local newspapers, as well as posts on popular city blogs, publicized the process in an effort to inform and engage the community. Implementation of the CAP remains an important priority of the City Council and is cited regularly by government staff and community members.
The highest priority recommendations identified by the Task Force included creating an Office of Sustainability and the Sustainable Tacoma Commission. Both were enacted in spring of 2009.