Climate Action Fund Community Feedback

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View of Bellingham and Cascade range from Bellingham Bay, photo by Isaac Cash

Feedback Summary

Thank you for providing feedback on the proposed Climate Action Fund through Engage Bellingham and public and stakeholder feedback forums hosted in February 2022. We have compiled the community feedback we have received so far in a Public Engagement Summary.

Below are the main themes that were brought up through community feedback. We used this feedback to inform the presentation on proposed areas of investment for the Climate Action Fund given to City Council on April 11.

  • Energy supply. Our community asked that we consider diverse energy sources to ensure that our electric grid remains reliable and to consider the carbon impact of shifting more energy use to electricity. We plan to look at a variety of large-scale and distributed renewable energy options to meet our community’s energy needs.
  • Equity. Our community asked that we make climate programs accessible and affordable for vulnerable communities and engage vulnerable communities in the development of new climate programs.
  • Funding mechanism. Our community requested we examine a variety of funding sources and reprioritize current spending. *City staff have done extensive research on potential funding sources. They gave a presentation to Council on March 28, 2022 about potential revenue sources for the proposed Climate Action Fund.
  • Adaptation efforts. Our community expressed interest in the City focusing on trees as an adaptation solution, since trees can reduce surrounding temperatures and provide other benefits. The City is developing an Urban Forestry Management Plan to help maintain and expand our urban forest and will consider tree planting as a climate adaptation solution. Our community also suggested we use existing structures to create multi-purpose respite areas during extreme weather events.
  • Program development. Our community asked that we include incentives to make program participation more affordable and seek collaborations with other community organizations.
  • Transportation. Our community requested that we fund alternative transportation broadly (vs. a focus on electric vehicles) as part of the investments in the proposed Climate Action Fund. The City currently funds alternative transportation capital improvements on public right of way through the Transportation Fund.
  • Jobs. Our community asked that we include investment in job training and development as part of the proposed Climate Action Fund.

Proposed Climate Action Fund

Bellingham has 145 underfunded climate action initiatives identified in the Council-approved 2018 Climate Action Plan (CAP) that will help us build a low carbon, equitable, and thriving city when achieved.

Meeting these ambitious goals will require solutions with big impacts, so we are proposing investments in the following areas:

  1. Renewable electricity, which will reduce the carbon content of electricity used by the community.
  2. Low-carbon transportation, including programmatic investments to help residents use our current transportation system and investments into electric vehicle and electric bicycle technology.
  3. Electrification and energy efficiency efforts, which will allow residential and commercial buildings to efficiently use electricity for space and water heating.
  4. Adaptation efforts that will help Bellingham, especially our vulnerable communities, adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as heat and smoke events.

There is strong interest in our community to accelerate efforts to reduce and adapt to climate impacts. To do so requires additional funding to fill in gaps in local, state, and federal funding so that we can achieve our goals more quickly. Mayor Seth Fleetwood has proposed that the City look into the development of a property tax levy to help fill this funding gap and enable Bellingham to meet our goals.

Feedback from the community is essential to help inform the levy creation process and gather perspectives on how best to utilize funding to maximize community benefits. The community has been providing feedback about the proposed Climate Action Fund through Engage Bellingham since February 2022. In addition to this online engagement, the City hosted two virtual public forums and several stakeholder workshops with community groups, businesses, and local government to gather feedback. At each session, Mayor Fleetwood and Seth Vidaña, the City’s Climate and Energy Manager, provided an overview of the need for the public funding necessary to achieve our community’s climate goals and the proposed uses of the funds, if approved, and attendees asked questions and provided comments.

Community members can continue to use the “Ask A Question” feature on this page. Please visit our Climate Action Fund webpage for more information about the proposed fund.

Feedback Summary

Thank you for providing feedback on the proposed Climate Action Fund through Engage Bellingham and public and stakeholder feedback forums hosted in February 2022. We have compiled the community feedback we have received so far in a Public Engagement Summary.

Below are the main themes that were brought up through community feedback. We used this feedback to inform the presentation on proposed areas of investment for the Climate Action Fund given to City Council on April 11.

  • Energy supply. Our community asked that we consider diverse energy sources to ensure that our electric grid remains reliable and to consider the carbon impact of shifting more energy use to electricity. We plan to look at a variety of large-scale and distributed renewable energy options to meet our community’s energy needs.
  • Equity. Our community asked that we make climate programs accessible and affordable for vulnerable communities and engage vulnerable communities in the development of new climate programs.
  • Funding mechanism. Our community requested we examine a variety of funding sources and reprioritize current spending. *City staff have done extensive research on potential funding sources. They gave a presentation to Council on March 28, 2022 about potential revenue sources for the proposed Climate Action Fund.
  • Adaptation efforts. Our community expressed interest in the City focusing on trees as an adaptation solution, since trees can reduce surrounding temperatures and provide other benefits. The City is developing an Urban Forestry Management Plan to help maintain and expand our urban forest and will consider tree planting as a climate adaptation solution. Our community also suggested we use existing structures to create multi-purpose respite areas during extreme weather events.
  • Program development. Our community asked that we include incentives to make program participation more affordable and seek collaborations with other community organizations.
  • Transportation. Our community requested that we fund alternative transportation broadly (vs. a focus on electric vehicles) as part of the investments in the proposed Climate Action Fund. The City currently funds alternative transportation capital improvements on public right of way through the Transportation Fund.
  • Jobs. Our community asked that we include investment in job training and development as part of the proposed Climate Action Fund.

Proposed Climate Action Fund

Bellingham has 145 underfunded climate action initiatives identified in the Council-approved 2018 Climate Action Plan (CAP) that will help us build a low carbon, equitable, and thriving city when achieved.

Meeting these ambitious goals will require solutions with big impacts, so we are proposing investments in the following areas:

  1. Renewable electricity, which will reduce the carbon content of electricity used by the community.
  2. Low-carbon transportation, including programmatic investments to help residents use our current transportation system and investments into electric vehicle and electric bicycle technology.
  3. Electrification and energy efficiency efforts, which will allow residential and commercial buildings to efficiently use electricity for space and water heating.
  4. Adaptation efforts that will help Bellingham, especially our vulnerable communities, adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as heat and smoke events.

There is strong interest in our community to accelerate efforts to reduce and adapt to climate impacts. To do so requires additional funding to fill in gaps in local, state, and federal funding so that we can achieve our goals more quickly. Mayor Seth Fleetwood has proposed that the City look into the development of a property tax levy to help fill this funding gap and enable Bellingham to meet our goals.

Feedback from the community is essential to help inform the levy creation process and gather perspectives on how best to utilize funding to maximize community benefits. The community has been providing feedback about the proposed Climate Action Fund through Engage Bellingham since February 2022. In addition to this online engagement, the City hosted two virtual public forums and several stakeholder workshops with community groups, businesses, and local government to gather feedback. At each session, Mayor Fleetwood and Seth Vidaña, the City’s Climate and Energy Manager, provided an overview of the need for the public funding necessary to achieve our community’s climate goals and the proposed uses of the funds, if approved, and attendees asked questions and provided comments.

Community members can continue to use the “Ask A Question” feature on this page. Please visit our Climate Action Fund webpage for more information about the proposed fund.

Page last updated: 16 May 2022, 09:46 AM