Climate Change Response
Thurston County is experiencing effects of climate change, including hotter summers, wildfire smoke, deepening droughts, coastal flooding, and intensifying storms. These impacts are expected to worsen as global temperatures continue to rise. Solving climate change requires commitment and action by all sectors of society. Local governments play a vital role in helping to reduce emissions and protecting residents from climate impacts.
The Board of County Commissioners passed Resolution No. 15983 declaring a Climate Emergency in 2021. This resolution emphasizes that mitigating climate change requires immediate action and a long-term commitment.
Recognizing the power of a regional approach, Thurston County and the cities of Olympia, Tumwater, and Lacey have been working together since 2018 to develop the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan in partnership with community members, youth climate activists, and grassroots advocacy organizations. In 2023, the partners signed a new Interlocal Agreement and created a new Regional Implementation Guidance document to formalize the Thurston Climate Mitigation Collaborative (TCMC) and define roles and responsibilities of the Jurisdiction Parties, Staff Team, Executive Committee, and Community Advisory Workgroup.
The shared plan aims to reduce countywide greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030 and 85% by 2050 (from 2015 levels). It includes more than 70 actions to reduce emissions across five sectors: Buildings & Energy, Transportation & Land Use, Water & Waste, Agriculture & Forests, and Cross-Cutting.
Visit Thurston Regional Planning Council’s site to read more:
What is Thurston County doing to mitigate climate change?
Thurston County’s climate mitigation program is a government-wide effort led by the Office of County Commissioners in collaboration with many County departments. The following are some key County programs that help meet the goals of the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan.
For a full list of annual actions the County has taken, see the 2022 Progress Report.
Thurston Climate Adaptation Plan
The Thurston Regional Planning Council developed the Thurston Climate Adaptation Plan in 2018 in collaboration with regional partners. The adaptation plan includes 91 actions to help the region prepare for and adjust to the impacts of a changing climate.
Rebecca Harvey, M.S.
Climate Mitigation Senior Program Manager
Board of County Commissioners
Office: (360) 867-2938
Cell: (360) 463-8181