Climate Action Plan

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The City of Mercer Island is writing its first ever Climate Action Plan (CAP) to guide the government, business, and resident actions needed to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and protect our environment.

Widespread citizen participation will be critical to ensure that planning is a success and that the City hears what's most important to the community. This page will be used for the public engagement components of the process, such as gathering feedback via public comment, online surveys, Q&A, and it also provides easy access to supporting documents and presentations.

Other outreach tools such as workshops, pop-up events, and public meetings will also be used throughout the 16-month CAP process. The CAP is expected to be adopted by the City Council in late 2022 or early 2023.

To learn more about climate change in general and GHG information, visit the main CAP website at www.mercerisland.gov/CAP

The City of Mercer Island is writing its first ever Climate Action Plan (CAP) to guide the government, business, and resident actions needed to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and protect our environment.

Widespread citizen participation will be critical to ensure that planning is a success and that the City hears what's most important to the community. This page will be used for the public engagement components of the process, such as gathering feedback via public comment, online surveys, Q&A, and it also provides easy access to supporting documents and presentations.

Other outreach tools such as workshops, pop-up events, and public meetings will also be used throughout the 16-month CAP process. The CAP is expected to be adopted by the City Council in late 2022 or early 2023.

To learn more about climate change in general and GHG information, visit the main CAP website at www.mercerisland.gov/CAP

  • July 19 CAP Update to Council

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    At the Tuesday, July 19, Council Meeting, staff presented a thorough update on the CAP so far, and also introduced two major new CAP work products: an updated greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for Mercer Island (depicting the current emissions trajectory); and a demonstration of our interactive “wedge analysistool (assessing the GHG contribution of different sectors of the economy to explore various emission scenarios).

    The 45-minute session included discussion of these items, schedule updates, as well as next steps and future public engagement activities. Meeting materials are available here (Item 14), or link directly to the archived video of the presentation. The slidedeck delivered is available in the Let's Talk Document Library.

    As a next step, Council directed its Sustainability Committee to further refine the list of 58 potential Goals and Actions to only those that rank at a B+ level or better, and then to assess with consultant support whether those on their own will be sufficient to meet the City’s 2030, 2040, and 2050 emissions reduction targets. If they are not sufficient, some actions may need to be added back in. Staff currenty plan to return to Council in September for an update and final review of the language to be used in an upcoming mailed statistical survey covering the proposed GHG actions..

  • Public Review of Draft Goals and Actions

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    This month, the City Council’s Sustainability Committee met three times to discuss the latest CAP materials, and based on 17 defined goals for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, the City’s consulting team generated an extensive list of about 60 DRAFT actions for consideration. These are now posted for public review and comment via our Goals & Actions Feedback Form.

    Additional Background:

    The 60 draft Strategies and Actions (view here) represent the results of extensive research that took into account existing City climate commitments, the City’s updated emissions trajectory, other recent Climate Action Plans on the West Coast, guidance from regional climate plan toolkits, current best practices among sustainability scientists, the professional expertise of the City’s climate consultant, and suggestions from the public. This is only a draft document and the contents will be refined several more times before the full CAP is written and circulated widely for public feedback.

    The Goals and Targets list (view here) was developed in a similar manner but paid special attention to climate commitments already made by the City, and to existing emissions targets at the regional or King County level.

    With current staffing and funding resources, it will not be possible to tackle all Strategies and Actions at once. Therefore, in order to help readers develop their own list of suggested top priorities, the table contains columns that provide rough approximations of relative COST and relative IMPACT of each action. At this phase, the cost is ranked (low =1; high = 5) based on overall cost to implement, and could apply to the City itself or to participants. The impact is determined based on estimated GHG reduction potential or ability to improve resilience to climate changes and extreme events (low potential = 1; high potential = 5). More extensive and robust return-on-investment (ROI) analysis may be attempted later in the CAP process to help prioritize the exact shortlist of actions for Year 1 and Year 2 early implementation.

    The public is invited to submit comments on these two documents using our online feedback form. The full City Council will discuss these draft Strategies and Actions, view an analysis of the City’s emissions status, and assess initial public feedback to date, at its July 19 Regular Meeting.

    Later this summer, the City will also be launching a statistically significant survey of the entire community to acquire feedback on the level of support for proposed Strategies and Actions. Thank you in advance for your comments and we look forward to ongoing public input as this information becomes more refined.



  • CAP Outreach at Summer Celebration July 9

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    As part of the CAP public engagement process, staff will be available to discuss the CAP, and other City environmental initiatves, at the City's Public Works information booth during the Summer Celebration festival on Saturday, July 9, at Mercerdale Park, from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Stop by to see us!

  • Community Workshop Postponed

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    The Community Workshop scheduled for Thursday, June 16 is being postponed until later this year. The City is very eager to gather input from residents about the draft Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Goals and Actions, but needs a bit more time to prepare this material for public review. In the meantime we encourage the public to keep track of CAP events and schedule updates on this Let's Talk page.

  • Community Feedback Workshop - Registration Open!

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    [This meeting is postponed - see above] Save the Date! We have scheduled our next community meeting for June 16, 2022, 6:00pm. At this online Workshop, participants will hear a short update on the CAP process and timeline, and then provide important feedback using breakout sessions on the draft set of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction measures proposed for the Climate Action Plan. Register here today.

    If you can't make the meeting, it will be recorded as usual, and the presentation materials will also be available afterwards. If you have a general question about the CAP process, please use our Ask a Question tab so that everyone can learn from the answer. Or you can make a comment in the Public Comment tab. Thank you!

  • Draft Public Engagement Plan

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    On May 3, the City Council heard a progress update on the development of the CAP, wtih a focus on the various public engagement activities to be included in the CAP process – these are the methods the City will use to spread the word, gather input, hear from a range of voices, respond to feedback, and identify community priorities. You can view the 45-minute video, or read the Draft Public Engagement Plan here. The presentation is available here, or in the Document Library.

    Many CAP activities are already underway, and early next month (June) we will convene the next Community Meeting to discuss emissions status and preliminary GHG reduction actions that have been drafted so far.

  • City Launches MI Climate Challenge!

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    Do you want to start taking meaningful climate action now, before the City's Climate Action Planning wraps up in December 2022? Good news! As part of our Earth Week activities, on April 20 we officially launched the Mercer Island Climate Challenge. This program is part of a joint regional campaign, the Eastside Climate Challenge, that we’re running in partnership with Redmond, Bellevue, and Issaquah.

    For residents who want to get started now on carbon footprint reductions at the household level, this campaign is ideal. The online challenge platform offers a free roadmap for Islanders to reduce their carbon footprint and live healthier, more sustainable lives. With over 80 customized ideas to significantly reduce households’ carbon footprint and save money, as well as 30 actions on emergency preparedness and community resilience, there’s something for everyone.

    We already have 22 households signed up and our target is 250 homes by year’s end. We are also exploring a friendly competition between City Councils – more to come!

    Learn more or sign up for 45-minute overview workshops at: www.mercerisland.gov/climatechallenge

  • April 19 Study Session Moved to May 3

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    The City has rescheduled the planned April 19 (5:00pm) Study Session presentation on CAP public engagement to the next Council Meeting on May 3.

    Our CAP consultant is still building out the public engagement plan, but has finished revewing other relevant City plans and policies for climate-reated content, and has also started a big update on the data in our GHG inventory to cover 2016-2020.

    Check the calendar in the Key Dates column to the right for other meetings....

  • February/March CAP Update

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    A lot of work has been underway behind the scenes this early spring!

    Consulting Support: We are pleased to announce that Cascadia Consulting Group has been selected to support our entire CAP process. This is a great outcome, as this local firm has deep experience helping to draft many Climate Plans in WA and along the West Coast, including those for our neighbors in Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, Redmond, Shoreline and more. We are working extensively with the new team to build out the MI CAP process.

    Review of Other Plans: Cascadia is reviewing a broad range of our current City-wide plans (e.g Parks, Recreation & Open Space Plan; Transportation Plan; Comprehensive Plan; & more) to extract useful items and context for the CAP, and ensure harmony with other City actions.

    Data Analysis: We have been transmitting raw energy and consumption data, along with other metrics, so that Cascadia can help us get caught up on our City and Community GHG inventories, and assess our recent sustainability performance. This will be imported into a cloud-based software platform. In the meantime, if you are interested in some of the more fundamental measures of City activity and energy use, check out the graphs on this updated City data page.

    Engagement Plan: Cascadia has been helping build out the public engagement plan and you can hear us present on that at the start of the April 19 (moved to May 3) City Council Meeting. This important part of the CAP process identifies the different methods we will use to spread the word, gather input, hear from under-represented voices, and respond to feedback. For those who participated in the recent Park, Recreation, & Open Space Plan (aka PROS), you will find a lot of this to be familiar. We are also booking dates to present to our various City Boards and Commissions, identifying tabling and pop-up event opportunities, and mapping out the next community-wide meeting (moved from March to approx. May). Many events are now posted on the Key Dates column to the right.

    Online CAP Survey Results: We closed the online survey a few weeks ago and the distilled results are now available for viewing. We received a total of 82 responses, which adds to all the live feedback we received at the December Kickoff meeting. Thank you for your extensive and thoughtful feedback and dozens of good ideas for evaluation. View the Survey Results.

    Finally, there are two NEW climate and energy initiatives in the pipeline that we hope to launch soon:

    1) Personal Climate Footprint Tracking Platform: This online tool, customized for Mercer Island, will help residents gauge what their own Carbon Footprint is and what actions they could take (from easy to more complex) to start shrinking it. If you want to get started now on some lifestyle and habit changes, before the CAP wraps up in December, this is for you! You can also form teams, or even compete with friends and neighbors. More coming soon about a launch this April…

    2) Heat Pump Installation Campaign: Many people are very interested in getting this highly-efficient technology installed in their homes, especially because it offers heating as well as cooling from the same equipment, all for much lower operating cost than a traditional furnace and conventional A/C system. Mercer Island hopes to partner with 4 other Eastside cities (Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah) on a campaign that would run similar to a rooftop solar campaign (aka “Solarize”), where education, pre-selected installers, and small group discounts are part of the offering. With a little more scoping and feasibility research we hope that this pilot could launch in July. Here’s an example of a similar campaign from Boulder, CO.

  • Online Survey Results Published

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    The online CAP survey (open for 3 months) closed in March and we now have the distilled results available for viewing. We received a total of 82 responses, which adds significantly to all the live feedback we received at the December Kickoff meeting. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful feedback! View the summary notes, themes, and graphs here


Page last updated: 04 Aug 2022, 11:34 AM