Greenhouse Gas Emissions


How are we Doing?

Baseline: 541,498 metric tons in 1990

Most Recent: 579,000 metric tons in 2014

Goal: Decrease

Target: 108,300 MTCO2E (80% of 1990 Levels by 2050)

Status: Yellow

Why is this indicator important?

Global warming is already having significant and harmful effects on communities, our health and our climate.  In Olympia, sea level rise, extreme weather, and food insecurity are just some of the risks we face.   By reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, we do our part to reduce the severity of impacts here in Olympia and across the globe. 

What influences this indicator?

Citizen and business efforts on energy and water conservation, waste reduction, alternative transportation, and green purchasing all influence our community’s greenhouse gas emissions.   Policy decisions at all levels of government (such as regulation of carbon emissions, vehicle fuel efficiency standards, etc.) also have a significant impact.  

What are we doing about this?

The City has already taken significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from  municipal operations.  Actions taken in recent years include:

  • Converting all streetlights and traffic signals to LED
  • Energy and water conservation retrofits in City buildings
  • Solar panels on City Hall, Farmer's Market and Library
  • Adding 6 electric vehicles to the City fleet
  • Purchase of green power
  • Use of biodiesel in City trucks
  • And more!

In 2015, the City also signed on the Compact of Mayors.  As part of the Compact, the City has committed to the following:

  • Year 1 - Community scale GHG inventory (complete), Report on climate hazards
  • Year 2 - Establish reduction targets (complete), Climate change vulnerability assessment
  • Year 3 - Develop climate action plan

The City is also participating in the regional Thurston Thrives Clean Energy and Climate Workgroup led by Thurston Climate Action Team (TCAT). 

How do we measure progress on this?

The City and Thurston Climate Action Team (TCAT) collaborate on an inventory of community-wide greenhouse gas emissions.  We use data from Thurston Regional Planning Council, Puget Sound Energy, LOTT and others to complete the inventory.