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2020-21 Climate Action Planning

Climate Work

Tell Us Your Story!

What do you want living in Tacoma to be like in 2030? Share your thoughts with us and help shape our climate action planning process. We will be gathering input through late 2020.


2020-2021 Climate Action Planning 

The Tacoma City Council passed 

Resolution No. 40509 

in December 2019, declaring a climate emergency in Tacoma, and affirming Council’s support of initiatives that mitigate impacts. As we plan for our collective climate future, the City of Tacoma needs to hear from more voices and consider the impacts to historically underrepresented, underserved, vulnerable communities, and from those expected to experience the most immediate consequences of climate change. With your help, Tacoma will center the voices of these frontline communities as we guide the priorities and investments of the City and work to develop a new plan in 2021-2021 to take action for climate change and environmental justice.


Latest Updates (as of November 2020)

We are currently collecting Phase 1 community input on key concerns and priorities for a more equitable and sustainable future in Tacoma.

  • Climate Action Plan AmbassadorsOver 30 community Ambassadors are in the process of planning and hosting community events and opportunities to share community stories, needs, and opinions from now through the end of November. This information will be synthesized and shared in January 2021 to help the City prioritize actions and funding that support our most vulnerable communities.
  • Environmental Justice (EJ) Leaders Workgroup: 10 inspiring Environmental Justice Leaders are meeting monthly between now and September 2021 to ensure that equity and environmental justice is centered in City plans and policies. With the help of the community priorities collected by the Climate Action Plan Ambassadors, we expect that the EJ Leaders Workgroup will shape strategies and actions for climate justice.
  • Modeling Carbon Pollution: The City is currently working with consultants and stakeholders to gather data that both a) establishes a baseline of how much and where our greenhouse gas emissions are coming from, and b) what our emissions are likely to look like over the next 30 years if we as a community and nation continue “business as usual” activities. 

Planning Timeline


Phase Actions  Timeline 
Phase 1

Understanding Community Priorities

  • Collect baseline data
  • Model carbon pollution emissions
September - December 2020
 Phase 2

Strategy and Action Planning

  • Identify technical opportunities and community benefits
 January - April 2021
 Phase 3

Plan Release and Adoption

  • Center equity in Plan
  • Deliver ambitious and achievable draft plan
 May - September 2021

Plan Overview

What is the climate action planning process?

The purpose of climate action planning is to ensure an equity centered, anti-racist, and transformative approach to updating the City of Tacoma's Environmental Action Plan. This process will lead to a renewed focus on climate action and environmental justice in the updated plan.


To create an inclusive and comprehensive climate action and environmental justice-focused plan, we have expanded the planning process to include a group of Environmental Justice Leaders who will incorporate their perspectives and visions of climate justice in Tacoma into the Plan. We have also gathered a group of community Climate Action Ambassadors to help us build strong and lasting relationships with diverse communities in Tacoma and to collect community input on key concerns, interests, and actions. Our goal through this process is to reach more communities, especially those who are most impacted by climate change and whose voices are often marginalized. 

What purpose will the plan serve?

The new climate action plan will serve as a guiding document for shared climate solutions, environmental protections, and community resilience - putting people first and prioritizing those communities most vulnerable to climate impacts. We need input from diverse community voices to develop a transformational plan, and to help build a safe and sustainable future. This plan, intended for adoption by Tacoma City Council in late 2021, will direct strategies, investments, and actions that work to create a better Tacoma for all.

Why is this process important?

From climate impacts, to environmental justice, to health and economic crises – we need to prioritize actions that reduce negative impacts and increase positive opportunities for all our communities, especially those made most vulnerable. Resolution No. 40509 declaring a climate emergency in Tacoma, directed the City of Tacoma to engage and collaborate with community members and those most burdened by environmental impacts through new partnerships as we update City plans and policies. Working with the EJ Leaders Workgroup and Climate Action Ambassadors helps us achieve this goal and create a more inclusive and robust plan. The updated plan that results from this process, to be adopted by Tacoma City Council in late 2021, will direct funding and actions to help you and our community.

Who is included in the planning process?

Throughout the climate action planning process, the City of Tacoma will prioritize voices from frontline communities, including communities of color, youth and young adults, and other historically underrepresented, underserved, or vulnerable groups. Input will also be encouraged from all community members who live, work, or play in Tacoma.


In order to understand which groups we are reaching and to better ensure equitable outcomes for the community, we are asking participants in the climate action planning process for their demographic information. While not required to provide, demographic information is an important tool for the City to understand whose voices we are hearing and which groups are still underrepresented in our planning process so that we can adjust our engagement and outreach strategies as we go.

When is this process taking place?

Climate action planning will be a year-long process from September 2020 to September 2021. The planning process includes three phases. The first Phase, beginning in September 2020 and continuing through the end of the year, will focus on gathering baseline data on our current City greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and baseline data from the community about their priorities and concerns. Phase 1 information will direct Phase 2 analysis of priorities and design of potential strategies and solutions that match these priorities. During Phase 2 from January to April of 2021, strategies and solutions for climate action will be shared with community members for input. The final phase, Phase 3 from May to September 2021, will focus on synthesizing all of the input and data we have collected through this process into a draft plan that will go to community groups and City staff for review before it is presented to City Council for adoption. See the Planning Timeline above for a summary of this information.

How can I get involved?

The City of Tacoma is partnering with Citizens for a Healthy Bay to prioritize engagement that supports community-led strategies, and to reduce participation barriers for all community members.


You can get involved by sharing your input on the future you want for our City right now by responding to a short online activity here!


Though applications to join the EJ Leaders Workgroup and Phase 1 Climate Action Ambassador cohort are now closed, there may be new opportunities to get involved during Phase 2 starting January 2021. 


For updates on the climate action planning process and for more information on how your input is used by the City, send us an email.


If you have questions about getting involved in the planning process, contact Erin Dilworth at Citizens for a Healthy Bay.

Where will the planning process take place?

Right now, the climate action planning process is taking place all across Tacoma. However, the format and frequency of community engagement activities will depend on COVID-19 safety guidelines.


Our EJ Leader Workgroup is currently meeting online. Similarly, Climate Action Ambassador trainings are taking place online and all Ambassador planned outreach events will follow Covid-19 safety guidelines. These planning activities will be adapted as health and safety circumstances change.