King County (Washington) Executive Order on Land Use Strategies for Global Warming Preparedness

In March 2006, King County, Washington Executive Ron Sims issued Executive Orders on Global Warming Preparedness that directed King County to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for anticipated climate change impacts. This order requires that King County Departments employ coordinated strategies of land use to mitigate and adapt to global warming.

The E.O. directs King County to use land use and transportation plans, policies and regulations as primary means by which King County and the region can: increase efficiency of regional land use; reduce urban sprawl and vehicle miles of travel; keep rural areas rural; conserve natural resource lands; and protect environmentally sensitive areas, in ways that are coordinated, equitable and supportive of global warming mitigation and adaptation.

A number of actions prescribed in this order address adaptation concurrently with mitigation efforts. For example, "the county shall set as its goal the acquisition of land or development rights for an additional 100,000 acres of forestlands by 2010, as both a possible means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via carbon sequestration and as a important asset against global warming impacts." Also, "the county will seek to engage local and regional partners via public education and action on stewarding natural resources and critical non-human habitats for the sake of global warming preparedness and mitigation."

The county's overall compliance with this Order is being monitored, and an annual Global Warming Report was requested to be issued to the Executive detailing progress on: reduction, capture and sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions in context of both county land use and transportation strategies and outside trends, understanding that the county is not solely responsible for achievement of that goal. A portion of this annual report is to include: a survey of innovations and best practices in land use and transportation strategies worldwide; an evaluation of whether the county is demonstrating innovation and meeting those best practices; and an outline of opportunities for the County to apply further innovative approaches. The annual King County Climate Reports are reviewed in this clearinghouse as well. 

Publication Date: March 22, 2006

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  • King County, Washington

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  • Executive order

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