Seattle (the city, not the region) has hit its Kyoto Protocol goal of reducing global warming emissions to 8% less than 1990. All of the gains came from land use, heating and electricity, while transportation emissions have actually increased by 3% over the period. The times article I have linked explicitly calls out that “the city’s achievement could be short lived, unless it can do more to reduce driving”.

On that front, Seattle is thinking of changing its multi-family zoning plans to increase density while lowering requirements for parking. This document (PDF) from one of their open houses a few weeks ago shows some of the plans in detail. I appreciate the city’s attempt to lower the cost of housing by increasing development, and making development cheaper. Having a mix of different incomes makes the city a better place to live, and I for one appreciate what the mayor and the council are doing on this front.

Carless in Seattle has pointed to another article, this one from the New York Times, about “Seattle and Other Cities’ Mantra: Improve Transit, Reduce Traffic”. It’s a great summary and a nice chance to read the perspective of someone from outside Seattle. Nothing new in there really, but this part I like very much:

This November, residents of Seattle and other Puget Sound communities will vote on whether to raise the sales and vehicle excise taxes to generate $7.8 billion for road construction and $10 billion to build 50 more miles of light-rail lines and other transit projects. A broad alliance of business, civic and labor groups and regional governments support the measure.

Public opinion polls indicate that voters are also in favor.

Let’s hope so.

With the Streetcar getting going and Central Link opening in 2009, we’re moving in the right direction on global warming here in Seattle.

3 Replies to “Seattle Hits Kyoto Goals”

  1. You are a hypocrite, you wrote not even a few months ago about how global warming was no big deal now you write about how it’s impressive that seattle is trying to reduce emissions.

  2. AAnonymous #1:

    From October 3rd:
    “I know that’s not a heart-warming argument, that we are doomed if we don’t come up with an alternative. But that’s the facts as they stand today. I don’t mean to be flip about global warming; it’s the biggest challenge facing mankind. But whether we move to other fossil fuels or move forward and find an alternative, it’s going to take a technological change to effect the climate one way or another.”

    See what citing can do? No? Well, it makes you look less like an idiot.

    Idiot or not, I’m very happy we’re doing our part for emissions and recycling, but we’re not in the top 5 yet. NYC even got themselves compliant. SF is a great city to model environmental efforts after.

    Some great goals would be at least 4 RTS lines (ha!), no more Styrofoam take out trays, and paper recycling on the street corners.

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