350 Seattle invites you/us to join the campaign to ensure our Mayor and City Council expedite the transition to green buildings!
To connect with and sign up to work on the campaign, go to: https://forms.gle/RjCKRESzVS3me7tGA
Building Performance Standard Policy will set deadlines for when large buildings (over 20k sq) feet must move off of fossil fuels by.
Current proposal has inadequate overall deadline of net zero by 2045 and unique tracks for different building types based on size, and ownership type (private, public, non profit)
We have the opportunity to use this policy electrify and add cooling capacity to our Schools, Libraries, government buildings, large apartments, commercial offices, university campuses and more in the next ten years!
Building Performance Standards Policy – Talking Points
Below are the four main angles/arguments we are making to support this campaign. Please use these outlines to think through your own public comment and if you have better ideas on how to phrase these please add them here!
Timelines based on what climate science and justice demand
With targets like net-zero by 2045, the mayor’s timeline proposal is far too little, far too late! The climate science is clear, we need to move off of fossil fuels in the next decade if we’re to save millions of lives and avoid the worst climate impacts.
We’re already seeing the climate crisis playing out here in Seattle, from deadly heat waves and choking wildfire smoke in the summer, to extreme cold weather and devastating flooding in the winter. And the longer we wait to act, the worse it gets. Will this City Council stand by as fossil fuel companies continue to
Under the current proposed policy, our kindergarteners will graduate high school before the buildings are done being upgraded.
Cooling Capacity for People Who Need It
Electrifying buildings with heat pumps means adding cooling capacity to buildings all over the city!
We can’t wait through another 25 years of summer heat waves for renters and employees at large institutions to get air conditionings.
Adding cooling capacity to building is critical for public health. We know that during heat waves cooling capacity can dramatically lower trips to the emergency room saving lives and relieving stress on our healthcare system.
Impact on elders & kids
- Retrofitting our buildings to have efficient electric heating and cooling is a HUGE opportunity to create tons of good union jobs that strengthen our communities while building the clean energy future we need.
- And when we invest in upgrades at schools, libraries, community centers and other public institutions, the City’s existing community workforce agreements mean that the jobs created are family-wage jobs, with strong labor standards and come with equitable hiring policies like targeted local hire.
About the money
- With the IRA, we have a huge window of opportunity to do this work with federal money that is now available. We should get as much done as we can while this money is available.
- Developers and big landlords will say that moving up the timelines is too expensive. But what is more expensive than losing our clean air to wildfire smoke every summer, our health to deadly heat waves, our neighbors’ homes to winter flooding?
- In the last 5 years, the US has spent over $765 billion in response to flooding, extreme weather and other climate change-fueled disasters. More than 4,500 people have died. (source) And the White House has reported that by 2100, climate change could cost the US more than $2 trillion each year. So when we talk about the cost of upgrading our buildings, let’s also not forget about the cost that climate change is already having and will continue to have if we don’t transition off fossil fuels as rapidly as possible.
Specifically for students/youth
- Students have an opportunity to take back power and authority to influence a big, slow process and take action that’s proportional to the climate crisis. In doing so, we are setting a precedent that affects not just Seattle, but everywhere else.
- We don’t want to be the adults in the room, we want the adults in the room to act as if there’s a real crisis. As students, we have an opportunity to win city government support by influencing schools to act, and catalyzing change across the city.