City Council's Sustainability Subcommittee Responds To UN's Climate Change Report

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Monday, August 9, 2021 at 3:21 p.m.

An announcement released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) leaves little doubt that our climate is warming and that humans are responsible. The IPPC reported that our global temperatures are now 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels, leading to more extreme weather events around the globe. This became evident in Spokane this summer as we experienced record-breaking heat waves and drought. 

For more than two years, the City Council’s Sustainability Subcommittee (SAS) has worked to address the climate crisis with the goal of creating local resilience by mitigating risks from climate change and investing in Spokane-specific strategies that strengthen our communities.  Currently, the SAS is seeking community input to help guide its revisions and provide City Council guidance on moving Spokane toward a more sustainable future. To take the survey visit SAP Survey.

“The data is clear. Human-caused climate change is already impacting us here in the Inland Northwest. The good news is that we have the tools and vision to take meaningful action today,” says Kara Odegard, Manager of Sustainability Initiatives. “Thousands of voices from our community have contributed to a plan that will help ensure Spokane stays strong in the face of future challenges. Exciting opportunities exist, and I have a lot of hope for our future.”

According to the IPCC report, earth is on a collision course with the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees, and unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, climate will continue to worsen. The SAS’s draft Sustainability Action Plan illustrates goals and strategies needed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

City Council President emphasized, “What is most important about Spokane’s Sustainability Action Plan is that it is customized to our City’s unique strengths and needs and designed by a broad spectrum of our community members.  I hope everybody concerned about these issues will review the plan and offer comment so that we can pass a final version this October.”

City Council created the SAS in early 2019 to focus on issues surrounding climate change and its effects on Spokane and the region. For more information on the Sustainability Action Plan and SAS, please watch this Council Connection.