The Skagit County Commissioners understand that Climate Change is an immediate problem that needs tackling at the local level. They have established a Taskforce to recommend suitable strategies. In creating these recommendations, the Taskforce is mindful that Skagit County government has no direct control over climate pollution from transportation and electricity generation. Statewide, such sources constitute two-thirds of the problem, and the County should strongly support state and federal mandates to tackle these major issues.
For the things we can influence, the Taskforce has devised policies and projects that will enable county government to establish a leadership role in local sustainable practices. The Taskforce’s mandate was to identify ways our county, as individuals and as a local government, can:
- Use energy more efficiently and therefore use less
- Encourage the use of renewable energy
- Reduce energy use through building codes
- Provide carbon sequestration through land use policy
- Reduce commute miles through improved urban and rural planning
- Provide better mass transit opportunities and other low-carbon methods of transportation
- Reduce the purchase of products that emit significant greenhouse gas emission, or required significant emissions during manufacture
- Use best waste management practices
- Lead by example through county outreach and education regarding how and why to reduce global warming pollution in all aspects of daily living
Everyone contributes to the problem of climate pollution in a measurable way every day. Educating the public on the causes and effects of climate change and the importance of adopting new habits is essential for citizens to reduce their carbon footprints.
The policies recommended by the Taskforce can put us on the right path towards reducing climate pollution and can provide tangible benefits for the citizens of Skagit County. The Taskforce hopes to create a culture within Skagit County that takes climate change seriously. Adoption of these recommendations is likely to lead to more job opportunities and more advanced entrepreneurial activities. This effort should be one that draws the community together to conserve, protect, and diligently manage the natural resources around us in a sustainable fashion.