Actions & Assessment

Welcome to the Thurston Region Climate Action Dashboard. This dashboard uses regional data about energy use, transportation and land use trends, water use and waste production, and agriculture, forests, and prairies to track progress towards our shared climate goals. 

Targets

Reduce locally generated greenhouse gas emissions

  • 45% below 2015 levels by 2030 and 
  • 85% below 2015 levels by 2050

2021 Progress Report

Countywide greenhouse gas emissions increased 9% from 2018 to 2019. While emissions have increased, many community partners worked hard to undertake innovative projects. Read about their efforts and our overall progress here


Action Status

As of January 2022, 70% of the actions listed in the plan are underway. Read about how actions are being carried out in the 2021 Detailed Action Review. 

CO2
TOTAL
EMISSIONS
100% of Emissions
NOT ON TRACK
Emissions have
INCREASED 15%
(2015-2019)
Overall communitywide emissions show the total of all emissions sectors put together. 

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building
Buildings 
Energy
62% of Emissions
NOT ON TRACK
Emissions have
INCREASED 24%
(2015-2019)
Energy use in buildings is our region’s largest source of emissions, and includes the electricity and gas that heat and power homes and offices.

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Transportation
Transp. 
Land Use
31% of Emissions
NOT ON TRACK
Emissions have
INCREASED 1%
(2015-2019)
Transportation emissions depend on how far we travel and how we make those trips. Land use patterns help determine people’s transportation needs.

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waste
Water 
Waste
4% of Emissions
NOT ON TRACK
Emissions have
INCREASED 17%
(2015-2019)
Water and waste emissions come from the collection and treatment of our drinking water, sewage, and solid waste.

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AgForests
Ag, Forests, 
& Prairies
3% of Emissions
NOT ON TRACK
Emissions have
INCREASED 0.8%
(2015-2019)
Agriculture, forests, and prairies generate a small portion of our emissions but can play a large role in offsetting other emissions.

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How do I use the dashboard?

Use the navigation pane on the left to see emissions broken down by sector. Each page will have emissions data as well as strategies and actions associated with the sector in the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan.

How are greenhouse gas emissions measured?

The Thurston Climate Action Team (TCAT) has tracked our regional greenhouse gas emissions in an annual inventory since 2010 using a protocol developed by the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and the World Resources Institute. This protocol lays out internationally accepted methods that enable comparisons with emission inventories prepared by other cities and counties. The inventory gathers data on actual activity in Thurston County—including electricity and natural gas use, vehicle miles traveled, solid waste and wastewater—then uses standard equations to calculate how those activities translate into emissions from different greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). Emissions from those greenhouse gases are then converted to metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCO2e) based on their global warming potential. The Thurston region’s inventory is sector-based “plus”, which means it mostly includes emissions generated within the Thurston region from different categories of activity (including buildings, transportation, water, solid waste, agriculture), as well as the emissions that result from the production of energy used in the Thurston region and from the transportation and disposal of solid waste to a landfill outside Thurston County. It does not include many types of emissions generated by consumer activity in Thurston County that occur outside of the region, such as the manufacturing of goods purchased by people in Thurston County or air travel by residents of Thurston County. 

What about consumption-based emissions?

Some greenhouse gas inventories are consumption-based, meaning that they account for the full impact of choices made by people that contribute to global emissions, such as travel to places outside the area and goods purchased and consumed here that are manufactured elsewhere. Emissions from these activities are generally not included in the sector-based inventory used for the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan. The University of California Berkeley developed a tool called “Cool Climate” that estimates consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions for zip codes based on national household surveys, economic models, and local data. Using this method, the region’s total carbon footprint was approximately 5.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent as of 2013.This estimate provides an alternative picture of the Thurston region’s climate impact, but relies on less specific local information than the sector-based inventory we use to develop policy. Read more about consumption-based inventories and the estimate for the Thurston region.  

Source: UC Berkeley CoolClimate Network, Average Annual Household Carbon Footprint (2013).

Contact Us

  1. Allison Osterberg
    Senior Planner
    osterberga@trpc.org

    Thurston Regional Planning Council
    2411 Chandler Court SW
    Olympia, WA 98502
    Ph: 360-956-7575