The U.S. city of Seattle, Washington in the Pacific Northwest is taking steps to comply with the Kyoto Protocol, the global treaty on climate change from which the Bush administration has rejected. The Seattle City Council recently voted unanimously to meet the targets for emissions reductions outlined in agreement of seven percent below 1990 levels by 2010.
In fact, the city hopes to triple that reduction through a variety of measures, including investment in forestation projects, more energy efficient buildings, and facilities that can turn waste heat into electricity.
Heidi Mills, head of the Energy and Environmental Policy Committee for the Seattle City Council, says the council adopted the resolution because of local concern about climate issues. She says the predicted large-scale snowmelt in the region because of global warming could usher in a host of problems.
"It means less drinking water, less hydroelectricity, less water for crops, less wildlife habitat, loss of salmon, loss of snow for winter recreation, loss of water for fishing, rafting and canoeing," Ms. Mills explains. "We'll lose much of the function and beauty that make Seattle and the Pacific Northwest so special."
Seattle Councilwoman Heidi Mills hopes the action in her city will encourage other communities in the United States and in other countries to make a similar commitment to reduce the threat of global warming.