Resolution on Climate Change and King County Energy Codes

June 17, 2021

WHEREAS, The entire Western US is entering the summer wildfire season in abnormally dry conditions, again, with many states already experiencing extreme to exceptional drought,

WHEREAS, Communities most harmed by extreme heat, wildfire smoke, air pollution, and other climate-related health hazards are working-class, low-income, and communities of color,

WHEREAS, Climate change poses multiple threats of system collapse, and the COVID pandemic has already proved that workers — especially womxn and workers of color —  bear the brunt of the burden to keep households, schools, health care, grocery stores, and the economy running during systemic disruptions,

WHEREAS, Greenhouse gas reduction commitments by governments around the world — even if fulfilled– are not currently enough to reach net-zero emissions by 2050,

WHEREAS, Children and young workers, in particular, face an unstable future due to climate change, including major threats to food security and increased inequality, and also stand to benefit the most from the transition to clean energy,

WHEREAS, Indoor gas appliances, which pollute indoor air, can increase the risk of childhood asthma by 42%,

WHEREAS, The largest source (62%) of King County’s greenhouse gasses are from buildings, and building codes have a powerful influence on this source of climate pollution,

WHEREAS, Improving local energy codes can be a significant step forward in creating jobs and assisting in the transition to clean and safe energy,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, We support updating King County’s energy codes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and urge the County Council to pass updated codes.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, Addressing energy use and emissions from existing buildings are critical for a stable climate, for public health and job creation, and we encourage King County to develop and adopt a policy to require deep reductions from the existing building stock in the near future that is consistent with the King County Strategic Climate Action Plan and the Washington State Energy Strategy. Further, MLK Labor opposes the exemption for “Affordable Housing;” people of all income levels deserve healthy efficient housing.

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