Cities like Burien often face the brunt of climate consequences, but they are also the driving implementors of climate solutions.
Burien faces several different climate risks and has already begun to see some of the overwhelming impacts of climate change. Our community has been exposed to multiple days of unhealthy air quality during three of the past four years because of wildfire smoke in the region. Burien is also anticipated to face dangerous sea level rise and increased levels of flooding caused by climate change effects.
Preparing for effects of climate change
To prepare for the effects of climate change, City of Burien staff are developing Burien’s first community-level climate action plan. The goal of the plan is to outline strategic and achievable goals to reduce the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted in Burien.
The first step in creating a climate action plan is to determine the level of greenhouse gas emissions produced in the city. Typically, a city’s first climate action can take between one to two years to create because of the technical aspect of measuring emissions and forecasting future emission levels. Last year, staff calculated and forecasted emissions from three sectors: transportation, energy, and solid waste. Burien’s transportation emissions accounted for 48 percent of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the city in 2019.
The next step in the climate action planning process is working with the community to develop a vision for a sustainable Burien and review climate strategies that fit the needs of the community. While in-person engagement is limited in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, community members can learn more about the plan and share feedback through virtual public meetings and online surveys. If you are interested in learning more or receiving updates on progress of the Burien Climate Action Plan, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.