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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Climate Change

An image of 3 people at a recycling center sorting out types of recycled material

Local Governments Pursue Zero-Waste Measures

Zero-waste measures for local governments run the gamut from multi-year materials management projects to consumer education on how to recycle or compost properly. The end goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and responsibly manage public resources.

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Map of Washington State showing how frequency of days reaching a humidity index over 90 degrees might change from 2050-2079

A New Climate Planning Tool for Local Governments

The online tool, Climate Mapping for a Resilient Washington, is a compilation of the best existing climate projection information for the state and includes information on state-specific climate hazards such as reduced snowpack, sea level rise, flooding, and more. 

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The Breakdown of Compost Product Purchasing

The Breakdown of Compost Product Purchasing

Any agency required to adopt a Compost Procurement Ordinance must also use compost for four specified types of projects and will need to report to the state on compost-related purchases. These agencies have some options in terms of where and how to purchase the product.

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Complete Streets Flourishing in Washington

Complete Streets Flourishing in Washington

Many Washington cities, towns, and counties have implemented complete streets programs to encourage safe access for all users, regardless of mode of transit. These programs vary from place to place, each meeting the specialized needs of local communities. 

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New Law Requires Compost Procurement Ordinances by January 1

New Law Requires Compost Procurement Ordinances by January 1

A new state law covering organic materials management requires compost procurement ordinances for certain cities, towns, and counties by January 1, 2023. These ordinances must set forth how compost will be procured, purchased, and incorporated into applicable projects.

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Parking Reform: Part 2

Parking Reform: Part 2

Increasingly, many local governments are shifting away from requiring too much off-street parking, citing social, economic, and/or environmental reasons. What tools can these communities use to better manage existing parking supply and to anticipate future needs?

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Parking Reform Advances Climate Action, Housing Affordability, and More: Part 1

Parking Reform Advances Climate Action, Housing Affordability, and More: Part 1

While parking is an important commodity for a community, too much parking can prevent the land from being used for another purpose, encourage excess car travel, and possibly make other forms of transportation, like biking or walking, both more complicated and dangerous.

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Beat the Heat with Heat Pumps

Beat the Heat with Heat Pumps

Some local governments are turning to high-efficiency, electric-powered heat pumps as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including developing programs that incentivize homeowners to install them in their place of residence. 

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New Legislation, Guidance Targets a Green Energy Future in Washington

New Legislation, Guidance Targets a Green Energy Future in Washington

In a push to carbon neutrality, Washington State agencies and the legislature have put in place laws and mandates designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, invest in transportation alternatives, reduce waste, and expedite the approval of green energy projects.  

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Responding to Sea Level Rise: A Multijurisdictional Approach to Protecting Downtown Olympia

Responding to Sea Level Rise: A Multijurisdictional Approach to Protecting Downtown Olympia

With a history of flooding and concerns about sea level rise due to climate change, Olympia has teamed up with other jurisdictions to address this potential challenge and safeguard vital services.

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Agencies Relate Successes, Challenges to VMT Reduction

Agencies Relate Successes, Challenges to VMT Reduction

Across the state, local governments have been looking at how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing vehicle miles traveled in their communities. This blog looks at some successful strategies and common challenges. 

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Tapping the Power of Emerging Leaders for Climate Resilience

Tapping the Power of Emerging Leaders for Climate Resilience

CivicSpark is a service program that pairs talented young adult Fellows with local governments, state agencies, Tribes, and nonprofits to tackle climate-related projects, research, and programs. It is expanding to Washington State and accepting applications for the 2022-23 year. 

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Local Governments Take Innovative Approaches To Prepare For Electric Vehicles

Local Governments Take Innovative Approaches To Prepare For Electric Vehicles

As electric vehicle use increases across Washington State, local governments are looking at ways to support, and even encourage, their use.

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New Resources Help Local Governments Reduce Climate Impacts, Build Resilient Communities

New Resources Help Local Governments Reduce Climate Impacts, Build Resilient Communities

All across Washington State local governments are wondering how they can better prepare their communities for the negative impacts of climate change. Now, we are offering more tools and resources to push these efforts forward.

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State Seeks Input on Its Vehicle Miles Traveled Reduction Strategy

State Seeks Input on Its Vehicle Miles Traveled Reduction Strategy

The State of Washington is seeking input from local governments across the state as it works to establish reduction targets for local vehicle miles traveled and other proposed programs in order to meet key climate action targets.
 

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New Interactive Map, Webpage Highlight Local Climate Plans

New Interactive Map, Webpage Highlight Local Climate Plans

As part of its Local Climate Response Project, MRSC is pleased to unveil a new webpage featuring an interactive map and detailed information about specialized planning efforts being taken by local governments across Washington State. 

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Investing in Equity To Prepare for Environmental Challenges

Investing in Equity To Prepare for Environmental Challenges

Some Washington local governments have placed equity front and center when preparing for the impacts of climate change. This blog looks at efforts in Lakewood and Shoreline.

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Green Building Incentives that Work: Follow the Roadmap

Green Building Incentives that Work: Follow the Roadmap

This guest blog introduces the Zero Carbon Buildings Policy Toolkit, a free resource available to help cities, towns, and counties understand and apply green building incentives in their communities.

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To Reduce Greenhouse Gases, Consider Buildings

To Reduce Greenhouse Gases, Consider Buildings

In this blog, guest author Deepa Sivarajan discusses why local governments should add building electrification to their toolkit when looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their jurisdiction. 

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New Program Supports Transition To Cleaner Vehicle Fleets

New Program Supports Transition To Cleaner Vehicle Fleets

Local governments wanting to switch to cleaner, zero-emissions car fleets now have a new resource to consult, the Green Transportation Program. 

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More Climate-Related Legislation for 2021

More Climate-Related Legislation for 2021

The 2021 legislative session produced several bills on issues related to the changing climate. This blog discusses a few, including bills that focus on reducing pollution statewide, encouraging alternative fuel use, and promoting greener commuting options. 

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MRSC Releases Results of Local Government Climate Response Survey

MRSC Releases Results of Local Government Climate Response Survey

MRSC's Local Climate Response Project surveyed local government staff about their agency's concerns and actions related to climate change, and the results are available in this blog.

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2021 Climate-Related Legislative Outcomes

2021 Climate-Related Legislative Outcomes

As Washington State looks to become carbon neutral by 2050, the 2021 legislative session produced several bills that will facilitate the state's efforts. 

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Disaster Zone: Heat Waves in the Pacific Northwest

Disaster Zone: Heat Waves in the Pacific Northwest

Heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest? This blog looks at a possible future where this is the norm, not the exception. 

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MRSC Tackles Big Challenges Through Its Local Climate Response Project

MRSC Tackles Big Challenges Through Its Local Climate Response Project

MRSC is launching the Local Climate Response Project this month to help local governments protect the health and economic vitality of their communities.

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Meeting the Challenge of Washington’s New Clean Buildings Standard

Meeting the Challenge of Washington’s New Clean Buildings Standard

This blog post will provide an overview of the New Clean Building Standard and how it applies to your publicly owned buildings. 

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Climate Change: What Can Local Governments Do?

Climate Change: What Can Local Governments Do?

This blog explains the basic elements of a Climate Action Plan, provides examples, and shares some of the many resources related to climate policy.

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Looking at Sustainability in Snoqualmie

Looking at Sustainability in Snoqualmie

A history of sustainability in the city of Snoqualmie.

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Game Changing: Local Planners Rising to Meet Global Challenges

Game Changing: Local Planners Rising to Meet Global Challenges

In my article last October, I talked about Climate Change in the news and some of the actions that planners in the Washington Chapter of American Planning Association are taking to plan for the changes that Washington will face.  Today, I’d like to update you on our progress and talk about the upcoming National Planning Conference.

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Climate Change - What is to be Done?

Sometimes climate change seems like too much. How can we spend public funds and staff time on problems that seem so big and far away?

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sea-level-rise-sf.jpg

Sea Level Rise: A Challenge for Washington’s Coastal Communities

Coastal communities throughout the world face significant challenges with rising sea levels. Increases in atmospheric temperatures cause ocean water to expand and land ice to melt. Rising sea levels coupled with ...

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