Seattle to reduce electricity GHG emissions to zero

The City of Seattle is to employ renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in order to generate electricity without making any net emissions of greenhouse gases.

The municipally owned electricity utility, Seattle City Light, will introduce energy conservation measures, use existing hydropower and develop new sources of renewable energy to meet the target.

The City Council says that emissions from fossil fuel used to generate electricity will be offset through other measures such as forest protection.

“We’re determined to set the standard for environmentally responsible municipal government,” said Seattle’s Mayor Paul Schell, announcing the scheme to coincide with Earth Day.

“Climate change is the world’s most urgent environmental challenge,” said Schell, “but it’s also very much a local issue. In Seattle, we can demonstrate that we take global warming seriously by ensuring that City Light provides clean electrical energy.”

Seattle has a good news story when it comes to the environment,” said Council member Heidi Wills. The city has introduced water conservation programmes that have kept region wide consumption below 1980 levels despite a population increase of 25%. Recycling rates are said to surpass any other municipality in the world and have saved the City and residents more than $12 million since1987.
“America has the technology and resources to meet all its energy needs while safeguarding the earth’s climate,” said Denis Hayes, chair of the international organization sponsoring Earth Day activities and original founder of Earth Day in 1970. “The urgent question now is, ‘Do we have the will?’ At least one city does, and I’m proud to live in it.”

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