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Originally published October 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 29, 2007 at 10:01 PM


Seattle meets Kyoto global-warming targets

The city of Seattle has become one of the few — if not the only — major U.S. city to cut greenhouse gases enough to meet the...

Seattle Times environment reporter

The city of Seattle has become one of the few major U.S. cities to cut greenhouse gases enough to meet the targets of the international global-warming treaty, the Kyoto Protocols.

As of 2005 greenhouse gases spewing from the city's homes, businesses and roadways had fallen to 6.6 million metric tons, an 8 percent reduction since 1990.

An estimated 7.18 million metric tons were released in 1990, according to a draft report released today by the city. The 2005 data is the most recent available.

The announcement was a triumph for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who has made climate change a cornerstone of his administration and hosts a global-warming conference of U.S. mayors later this week.

"This is a remarkable milestone that shows how cities can lead the way in the fight against global warming," Nickels said.

Nickels has lobbied other mayors to sign a pledge promising to meet the Kyoto target of cutting greenhouse gases to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. More than 650 mayors have joined the movement, which is aimed partly at pressuring the federal government to join the international treaty.

But the city's achievement could be short lived, unless it can do more to reduce driving — a chief source of greenhouse gases and one of the hardest to control, cautioned city officials.

Transportation emissions actually rose by 3 percent over the 15-year period, while emissions tied to electricity, heating fuel and landfills all fell.

Warren Cornwall: 206-464-2311 or

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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