Compounding climate disasters require compounding solutions
Here in northwest Washington, climate change-fueled disasters — extreme heat, drought, wildfire, flooding — will be the new normal with projected temperature rise. Even with global and local action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, we will likely see an average increase in temperatures of 1.5°C by as soon as 2030.
RE Sources is working to create a just and green energy transition away from dangerous and damaging fossil fuels. At the same time, we must also prepare our community to weather the projected impacts of climate change and create lasting resilience.
We can defend our region from some of the most severe climate impacts by protecting the places we love: shorelines, streams and rivers, forests and marine habitats. When these ecosystems are functioning healthily, they can blunt the damage of severe weather events and make our communities more resilient. If we protect these natural ecosystems, they will protect us.
Climate-Resilient Northwest Washington
RE Sources’ new initiative, Climate-resilient northwest Washington, is aimed at galvanizing bold investments in climate resilience, efforts that help communities withstand and bounce back from the climate change impacts that are increasingly being felt across northwest Washington.
Through our interactive Story Map, we’ve illustrated our vision for the future within reach, in an effort to raise awareness about the climate impacts our region faces and the areas in which local and regional investments can best help us build resilience. The site also spotlights local Tribes, agencies and businesses already leading efforts to build resilience in the region. For the full experience, tour this StoryMap at full screen on a desktop or laptop computer. You can explore the full map here.
Regional Climate Impacts
Our region faces challenges from five key impact areas all stemming from a rise in global temperatures: drought, increased temperatures, wildfires, flooding and sea level rise. Tour the StoryMap for a summary how these changes will impact our communities in the years ahead, or download our factsheet below:
Our goals are two-fold:
- Protect and enhance local ecosystems and the natural environment as our frontline of defense against increasing droughts, floods, and rising seas from climate change.
- Use nature-based solutions as part of climate change mitigation (reduction of climate pollution), as these approaches are estimated to provide some one-third of the climate mitigation needed globally by 2030 to keep warming below a 2°C increase.
Both goals are supported by our nine-point Solutions Agenda, which you can view within our StoryMap or download as a PDF below:
With your help, we can create a region where our communities — human and otherwise — can rebound and thrive well into the future. Here are RE Sources’ top six approaches to building climate resilience in Northwest Washington:
- Protection and restoration of the Salish Sea and the waters that feed it at the state and local levels. We increasing our efforts to restore natural areas in floodplains, improve water quality, implement water conservation efforts and protect thriving forests and vital marine habitats.
- Advocate for funding Salish Sea recovery efforts to levels needed to achieve the goals outlined in the Puget Sound Action agenda and to mitigate for the increasing impacts of climate change on those goals.
- Continue advocating for protecting vital shorelines governed under the Shoreline Management Plan.
- Campaign for robust local Climate Adaptation Plans, specifically urging the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County, to build out their plans with:
- The most current climate science related to climate change impacts into all facets of government. Ensure mechanisms are in place to quickly adapt and update their policies and procedures as new science becomes available.
- Assessments of the vulnerability of human health, current and planned infrastructure, and ecosystems to the impacts of climate change.
- Recovery and protection goals that use a lens of climate resilience.
- Work with local climate committees and local governments to secure adequate funding for climate preparedness and adaptation planning.