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Climate Action Plan

The Burien City Council adopted the Burien Climate Action Plan on November 15, 2021.

This community-level Climate Action Plan is the first of its kind for the City of Burien and will act as a roadmap for Burien to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts.

The Burien Climate Action Plan covers climate actions in five focus areas, concentrating efforts on the most impactful opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and increase our community’s ability to adapt to future climate impacts.

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved:

To achieve the goals and vision of the Burien Climate Action Plan, the City will need collective buy-in and collaboration from Burien’s residents, businesses, and City departments and leaders. Sign up to get updates on ways you can get involved.

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Project Contact

Liz Wonder, Sustainability Manager

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Background Information

Project Documents
Project Background

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is a shift in regional and global patterns largely attributed to the increased levels of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Climate is the “average” weather for certain areas, whereas weather reflects short-term conditions like day-to-day or season-to-season. For example, the Puget Sound regional climate typically has dry summers, winter rains, and mild temperatures year-round. The Puget Sound is starting to see the effects of climate change through increased air temperatures and larger rainfall events.

Tackling climate change is not only vital for the local environment but our community as well. Climate change amplifies current and historical inequities, putting communities with the least amount of resources at the highest risk from the impacts.

Pie chart showing greenhouse gas emissions sources in Burien.

2019 Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

A greenhouse gas is a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change effects. Since many of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions are directly or indirectly controlled through local policies, local governments have a strong role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions within their boundaries. The first step toward achieving tangible greenhouse gas emissions reductions requires identifying baseline emissions levels and sources and activities generating emissions in the community. This inventory presents emissions from the Burien community as a whole.

2019 greenhouse gas inventory highlights:

  • Accounting for about 48% of total community-wide emissions, the transportation sector was the largest source of emissions in 2019. Transportation emissions were calculated from daily average vehicle miles traveled (VMT) modeling results provided by Puget Sound Regional Council for cars and trucks.
  • Energy emissions are calculated from electricity and natural gas consumption from both residential homes and commercial buildings in Burien.
  • Solid waste emissions are derived from tonnage reports detailing the amount of waste sent to the regional landfill from Burien.

Read more in Burien Magazine


In late 2019, the Burien City Council adopted the updated King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) joint letter of commitment which establishes GHG emissions reduction targets for county-wide sources by at least 50 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050, compared to a 2007 baseline.

Background Documents
Community Advisory Group

Staff worked with a group of fifteen community members that provided strategic advice on community engagement and helped foster and build strong relationships with the broader Burien community around the Burien Climate Action Plan. Members of the group served as ambassadors to the Burien Climate Action Plan and supported the dissemination of communication materials around ways to get involved.

The Community Advisory Group provided support to the Burien Climate Action Plan in the following ways:

  • Defined the vision and priorities for the Burien Climate Action Plan.
  • Provided strategic input on draft strategies and actions.
  • Provided strategic input on the implementation of the Climate Action Plan strategies and actions.

Project Timeline


Plan and Analyze

Complete greenhouse gas inventory and set greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Winter 2020-Spring 2021

Community Engagement

Develop community engagement strategy. Assemble community advisory group. Identify top strategies and actions to meet targets.

Winter 2021

Finalize and Adopt Plan

Solicit public feedback on strategies and actions for local climate action. Release draft Climate Action Plan and incorporate feedback. Adopt final Climate Action Plan.

2022 and beyond


Begin implementation of local government and community actions.

Last Updated: November 16, 2023