PO Box 13324, Olympia, WA 98508 info@thurstonclimateaction.org

Setting Priorities for Climate Action in our Region

By Tom Crawford, President, Thurston Climate Action Team

The Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan (TCMP) effort has identified nearly 300 possible actions (available here) for reducing community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout Thurston County.  As you might recall, the TCMP is the work of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and Thurston County to determine how to meet the GHG reduction targets they agreed to last year:

  • 45% below 2015 levels by 2030
  • 85% below by 2050

Now it’s time to evaluate and prioritize those items, so that the highest priority actions get done first.

During the first week in December, a series of meetings are being held to start the evaluation process.  If you are interested in one or more of the areas being evaluated (buildings and energy, transportation, agriculture and forests, waste and water), and would like to be heard on the most important things to do in our region to reduce emissions, consider attending one of these meetings.  Details are below.

Criteria for Setting Priorities

At its October 24th meeting the TCMP Steering Committee adopted the following criteria for setting priorities:

  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Potential
  • Speed of Deployment
  • Control
  • Co-benefits

A summary of the criteria adopted and selection process is posted online.

Sector Focus Group Meetings

Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC), which coordinates the TCMP project, has scheduled the next round of Sector Focus Group meetings for the week of December 2nd. The purpose of these meetings is to apply the above criteria to proposed actions.

Here are the dates for sector focus group meetings.  Each focus group will consider the proposed actions within its area.

  • Water & Waste – Mon, Dec 2, 2-4 pm
  • Agriculture & Forests – Mon, Dec 2,  4-7 pm
  • Buildings & Energy – Tue, Dec 3, 9 am-12 noon
  • Transportation & Land Use – Weds, Dec 4, 1:30-4:30 pm

All meetings will take place at TRPC’s office at 2424 Heritage Court SW, Olympia, WA

Meeting objectives are to assess local actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to identify priority actions.  Meetings are primarily for members of each sector focus group.  These groups were formed out of the project’s Climate Advisory Workgroup.

All sector focus group meetings are open to the public. There will be a set time for public comments at the end of each meeting. If there is space available, and it will support achievement of the meeting objectives, the meeting facilitator may invite interested members of the public to participate in the evaluation activity.

Meeting agendas and materials typically will be posted on the TRPC website in advance – about a week ahead. Some materials may not be available in advance.  Materials from past meetings are posted on the TRPC website on the “Meetings & Materials” page. There are summaries available for the Steering Committee and Climate Advisory Workgroup meetings. The complete list of proposed actions can be found here.