Seattle City Light’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

This story was written by Kiyomi Morris, greenhouse gas strategic advisor.  

As our recent heat wave emphasizes, the prevalence of greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere continues to negatively impact the planet in many ways. As industries and governments across the globe continue to work together to address this issue, the City of Seattle has been doing its part. City Light provides its customers with energy from hydroelectric dams and other renewable resources in the region. In addition, in 2000, the City established a resolution requiring City Light to meet the energy needs of its customers with “no net greenhouse gas emissions”. This means that City Light must strive to minimize its emissions and purchase greenhouse gas offsets for the emissions it cannot eliminate. In order to meet this requirement, City Light tracks emissions associated with its business operations, which includes any that may be associated with the additional energy City Light procures and provides to its customers to meet their needs. Its efforts made it the first greenhouse gas neutral utility in the country in 2005.

While the policies outlined by the City of Seattle back in the early 2000s set this ground-breaking greenhouse gas management work in motion, more recently, a collection of local and regional policies have been passed that has accelerated and expanded the forward momentum of City Light’s work and commitments. For example, in 2019 the Clean Energy Transformation Act (also known as CETA)  was passed in Washington state, requiring all electric utilities to source 100% of their electricity from renewable or non-emitting resources by 2045. Fortunately, City Light has been on top of it and is well on its way to meeting these requirements. These policies, as well as City Light’s commitments, lay the groundwork for a cleaner and more sustainable energy future for everyone.  

To learn more about City Light’s commitment to environmental stewardship, visit: seattle.gov/city-light/energy-and-environment/environment. For tips on how you can reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases in your life, visit our Powerlines blog.