Vision, Goals, & Guiding Principles

From the start of this planning process, community members and policymakers expressed a desire to focus on action. They emphasized the need to understand what it will take to achieve meaningful progress on reducing local contributions to climate change, and to build broad community support for investment in those solutions. In August 2019, the Steering Committee approved the following vision and goals for the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan.


Thurston County, Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and neighboring tribes recognize the urgent threat and opportunity that climate change poses to our community’s economy, public health, public safety, and environment. We will work together to identify and boldly implement the most effective, efficient, and equitable actions to reduce locally generated greenhouse gas emissions to protect current and future generations from the most severe impacts of climate change.

Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2018, the cities of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and Thurston County committed to a shared regional target for reducing carbon pollution. The targets aim to reduce net communitywide greenhouse gas emissions in Thurston County by:

  • 45% below 2015 levels by 2030

  • 85% below 2015 levels by 2050

These targets are in line with those set by other countries and communities around the world and ensure that our community does its part to address global climate change.

Meeting these targets will not be easy—we will all need to play a role. The region’s growing population will make reaching the goal even more challenging. The average person in Thurston County will need to reduce their carbon footprint by approximately 90% by 2050 to meet our target.

Regional Goals

These 12 goals are from Thurston Regional Planning Council’s 2013 Sustainable Thurston plan, and also guided the Thurston Climate Adaptation Plan.

  1. Create vibrant centers, corridors and neighborhoods while accommodating growth.

  2. Preserve environmentally sensitive lands, farmlands, forest lands, prairies, and rural lands, and develop compact urban areas.

  3. Create a robust economy.

  4. Protect and improve water quality, including groundwater, rivers, streams, lakes and Puget Sound.

  5. Plan and act toward zero waste in the region.

  6. Ensure that residents have the resources to meet their daily needs.

  7. Support a local food system to increase community resilience, health and economic prosperity.

  8. Ensure that the region’s water supply sustains people in perpetuity while protecting the environment.

  9. Move toward a carbon-neutral community

  10. Maintain air quality standards.

  11. Provide opportunities for everyone in the Thurston Region to learn about and practice sustainability.

  12. Make strategic investments to advance sustainability regionally.

What You Can Do

The plan will lead directly to projects and resources spent in your community. Here’s how you can help determine which projects we undertake and where we should focus our resources: 

  • Take the Survey by clicking the “Share Your Feedback” tab above.

  • Read the Plan and get all the details in the full document.

  • Sign Up for updates via 

  • Email comments to the project manager at  

  • Call the project manager at the Thurston Regional Planning Council at 360-956-7575.  

  • Ask Questions and tell us what you think about the draft Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan.

© 2023 by ITG. Proudly created with