Kirkland Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Councilmember Dave Asher and Councilmember Jon Pascal. Photos courtesy City of Kirkland

Kirkland Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Councilmember Dave Asher and Councilmember Jon Pascal. Photos courtesy City of Kirkland

Kirkland takes next step in climate action | Commentary

  • Sunday, June 18, 2017 1:30am
  • Opinion

During the Kirkland 2035 process, “sustainability” and “green” were among the most prevalent words heard from both residents and businesses throughout the community conversations about our city’s future. With this in mind, the Kirkland City Council continues to find ways to do our part to protect the climate.

In May, the council took another giant step on the path toward sustainability when we voted unanimously to participate in Puget Sound Energy’s Green Direct Program for the next 10 years. Green Direct is an energy project that will enable all city facilities including Kirkland City Hall, the Kirkland Justice Center, both parks and public works maintenance centers, the community centers and the fire stations to be powered with 100 percent clean, green power. With this commitment from Kirkland and others, the power will be generated from a brand-new wind facility in Southwest Washington, which is expected to come on-line in 2019.

The city’s power costs are locked in under the Green Direct contract. Projections show that the city will save about $85,000 under conservative assumptions about the market price of electricity. This is a win for Kirkland taxpayers, reduces our greenhouse gas emissions and represents significant progress toward our climate goals while reducing pollution related to energy production.

Participation in the Green Direct program is the latest action where Kirkland has joined efforts to protect the climate. Through the Solarize Kirkland program, many Kirkland homeowners have put solar panels on their homes. The city now encourages new homes to be solar-ready when they are built.

In 2005, the city council endorsed the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement, discussing how local government could move forward for reducing global warming pollution independent of federal policy. In 2007, Kirkland adopted greenhouse gas reduction targets to reduce 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. In 2009, the council adopted a climate protection action plan.

In 2012, Kirkland was a founding member of the King County Climate Change Collaborative (K4C), a partnership between cities and King County to work together and share ideas and best practices on climate efforts.

Much of the solution to global climate challenge is local. An analysis done as part of Kirkland’s climate protection action plan shows the biggest drivers of greenhouse gas pollution are power generation, transportation fuels and energy use of our buildings. Kirkland is supporting green power efforts through our city’s own actions and encouraging Kirkland residents and businesses to purchase green power.

Transportation policies encourage transit, walking and biking, as well as supporting the evolution to electric vehicles. Smart growth policies reduce the need to drive by putting jobs and services closer to home.

Building codes, Kirkland’s green building program and incentives make our buildings more efficient — and one new home in Kirkland even meets a net-zero energy standard. Net-zero energy means that the home produces as much energy (using solar panels) over the course of a year as the homeowners use. More net-zero homes are being built as you read this, which is creating synergy and empowering citizens and developers alike to produce even more energy efficient homes.

As part of work outlined in our comprehensive plan, we hope to create a Kirkland Sustainability Master Plan beginning next year. Kirkland’s sustainability and livability has happened because of the vision, passion and ideas that have come from you. We look forward to your ideas on the next things we can do to fulfil our Kirkland 2035 vision statement that “Kirkland strives to be a model, sustainable city… for our enjoyment and future generations.”

Kirkland Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold represents Kirkland on the King County Cities Climate Collaborative. Councilmembers Dave Asher and Jon Pascal serve on the council’s Parks and Public Works Committee.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Why should the threat to Taiwan concern us in WA? | Brunell

Unfortunately, what happens in Taiwan doesn’t just stay in Taiwan — it… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election 2021: Closer look at King County races | Roegner

The race for Mayor of Seattle will dominate the regional media, but… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Questions surround vaccine exemptions for state workers | Roegner

With about 4,800 state employees in 24 agencies requesting vaccine exemptions, which… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: Arezo’s journey to America | Guest column

In our little Zoom room, I hear my interviewee break into sobs.… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Can a Texas-style abortion law happen in Washington? | Roegner

If politicians really want to anger women voters, the easiest way is… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Reasons to ban Gov. Jay Inslee’s natural gas ban | Brunell

Column: Switching from natural gas to electricity is complicated and will impact everyone.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Vaccinations improve our health and employment numbers | Brunell

It is not surprising that COVID-19, which ravaged the world, was disastrous… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Firefighters vs. the governor’s vaccine mandate | Roegner

We all thought we were in this fight with the coronavirus together,… Continue reading

Providence employees look at anti-vaccine mandate protesters as they cross the street outside of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett on Aug. 18, 2021. Olivia Vanni/Sound Publishing
Editorial: A message to the unvaccinated and unmasked

We know you’re frustrated with mandates and advice, but consider our frustrations and, yes, our anger.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Back to the classroom during abnormal times | Roegner

If it didn’t feel so normal, we might forget about the coronavirus… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
What’s up with the real estate market? | Guest column

As we all know, the residential real estate market and prices have… Continue reading

9/11 Memorial in Cashmere, Washington. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
Twenty years after tragedy brought us together | Guest column

Recently, I was reflecting on where I was and what I was… Continue reading