Carbon-Free Thurston Receives Support from WFSE 443 – Thurston’s Largest Union

September 18, 2018

Statement for Carbon Free Thurston
WFSE Local 443

The City Councils of Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey and the Thurston County Commissioners have agreed to collaborate on developing and implementing a regional climate mitigation plan that will meet the recently adopted goals of reducing county-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 2015 levels by 2030 and 80% below 2015 levels by 2050.

As Local 443 of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the largest local labor union in Thurston County representing 8,000 members and their families, we strongly encourage the three cities and Thurston County to develop and enact the strongest possible strategies in such a climate action plan, leading to meaningful greenhouse gas reductions in our communities.

In order to incorporate the most effective strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as support the physical and social health of our residents and the vibrancy of our economy, we recommend that such a regional plan include the following:

1. Public Engagement. Meaningful public involvement and support is essential for the plan to be implemented successfully.
2. Results Orientation. The plan must identify key strategies and actions that are most likely to lead to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the sectors of transportation, the built environment (residential and commercial), and waste management.
3. An Implementation Plan, with schedules and realistic target dates.
4. An Accounting for the Needs of Renters and Low-Income Community Members: These communities must not be harmed, but instead allowed to enjoy the expected benefits resulting from clean energy and climate action changes.
5. Estimates of Costs and Benefits, with Recommendations for Funding Mechanisms.
6. Provision for an Ongoing Infrastructure and Support, including a governance structure that will oversee long-term implementation of the actions recommended.

As a group we stand ready to support the Cities and County to bring a regional plan to life and assist in its implementation for a cleaner and more sustainable Thurston County.

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