Sierra Club Spearheads Cool Counties Initiative

King County, Washington Executive Ron Sims says "We no longer have time to waste" when it comes to initiating climate change solutions.©

The Sierra Club joined ranks last week with 12 of the nation’s largest counties—representing 17 million Americans across 10 states—in announcing the creation of the Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration. The participating counties pledged to reduce their global warming emissions 80 percent by 2050, and are also calling on the federal government to adopt matching emissions reduction goals and raise national fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon for all cars and light trucks within a decade. (The U.S. Senate has already voted to approve the latter plan, but its fate is uncertain in the House.)

"We no longer have time to waste," says Ron Sims of initiative-leading King County, Washington. "We know what it takes to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in our regions and we owe it to our children and grandchildren to make the tough decisions and right investments now."

Cool Counties is an outgrowth of the Cool Cities program also spearheaded by the Sierra Club. To date, nearly 600 cities from coast to coast have signed onto Cool Cities, which has similar emissions reduction goals.

"While our leaders in Washington remain asleep at the wheel, cities, states, and now counties are demonstrating extraordinary leadership as they come together to address these pressing national concerns," says Carl Pope of the Sierra Club. "The county leaders joining us
understand the seriousness of the problems we face and are taking the kind of bold, visionary action that will protect both our climate and their own citizens."

Participating counties include King (WA), Fairfax and Arlington (VA), Nassau (NY), Montgomery and Queen Anne’s (MD), Miami-Dade (FL), Alameda (CA), Cook (IL), Shelby (TN), Hennepin (MN) and Dane (WI). The lead counties in the program (King, Fairfax and Nassau) are working with the Sierra Club to add new counties to the initiative while helping participating counties implement plans to meet their goals.

Source: Sierra Club