Mainstreaming climate risk... and clean energy opportunity
November 16, 2017

Tuesday, Nov. 14: what a great day it was for Northwest climate action. 

For Climate Solutions, the day started with us hosting a live Twitter Q&A with Governors Kate Brown and Jay Inslee, both of whom are in Bonn at the international climate talks (you can find our questions and their answers by searching the hashtag #ActonClimateNW). 

The day concluded with Kate Gordon, founder of the Risky Business Project, inspiring a crowd of hundreds at our 9th Annual Dinner in Portland. Kate’s work confronts climate change by forefronting the economic risks of doing nothing, or of doing something, but not rapidly enough, and the opportunities for economic growth and jobs that come with transition to clean energy. “We need to mainstream climate risk,” she told us.

And on the clean-energy opportunity side, she noted that the Northwest does not have what business language calls a “first mover” problem. “The transition to low-carbon efficient materials and operations is already happening,” Kate said; “the market is moving now.” Here is her presentation in full (we'll be watching and re-watching this for a while!):

The many inspiring climate and clean energy leaders who filled the room last night, along with so many others, are demonstrating that we can accelerate solutions to the climate crisis—and that we must lead in the Northwest. 

We have never been closer to a number of key victories. We’re excited about the opportunity to finish the work the Oregon Legislature started some time ago and pass the Clean Energy Jobs bill in 2018. (View our dinner remarks here.) Our other top priorities in Oregon include:

  • Implementing the 100% clean energy policies in Portland and Multnomah County, so those jurisdictions can meet the promise of their bold commitments.
  • Accelerating the shift to electrified transportation, and not just our cars and trucks – we will press for our transit agencies to stop buying dirty diesel buses, and instead invest in clean electric buses.
  • Working through the Zero Energy Building Coalition to ramp up the efficiency of our buildings across the state.
  • Reinstating and expanding robust and effective statewide incentives for more renewable energy serving people’s homes, buildings, and communities.
  • Working with elected officials and local partners across Oregon to win more local policy victories so we can accelerate all of these solutions.

And this work will be carefully and effectively guided by our newly-minted Oregon State Director,  Meredith Connolly.

Events like this successful dinner take a community to make them happen, so I also want to extend appreciation to these supporters of that event:

  • Keynote speaker Kate Gordon – Thank you for your compelling keynote;
  • Event speaker and board member Jackie Dingfelder – Thank you for your generosity, tenacity, and compassion;
  • Emcee Amy Hillman – Thank you for being such an incredible emcee at the dinner;
  • Our sponsors, table hosts, table captains, public officials, foundations, donors, guests, and volunteers in the room for making events like our dinner possible.(sponsors noted below)
  • Andie Petkus Photography for photographing the event (check out the photos and tag yourself at and Shew Design for the beautiful design of our printed materials.
  • our incredible staff and board that made this all possible. 

I’m happy to share with you that we surpassed our fundraising goal for the evening! If you were not able to attend and support our work on Tuesday, we hope you will consider a gift now. 

Thank you for partnering with us to forge a 100% clean energy future.

Special Thanks to our Dinner Sponsors:

Climate Protector Sponsor:
Lisa Adatto, Climate Solutions Board of Directors

Climate Leader Sponsor:
Environmental Defense Fund

Climate Partner Sponsors:
Beneficial State Bank
EDF Renewable Energy
Neil Kelly Company
Portland Business Journal

Climate Friend Sponsor:
Avangrid Renewables
City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
EDP Renewables
Green Hammer
National Grid Ventures
Pacific Ethanol, Inc.
Port of Portland
Trillium Asset Management

Climate Supporter Sponsor:
BlueGreen Alliance
NW Energy Efficiency Council
NW Natural
Rye Development

Climate Wine Sponsors:
A to Z Wineworks
Soter Vineyards
Willamette Valley Vineyards


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Author Bio

Gregg Small
Gregg Small

Executive Director, Climate Solutions

Gregg brings nearly 30 years of experience working on climate, environmental, and public policy issues, including 25 as an Executive Director. At Climate Solutions, Gregg oversees a staff of more than two dozen policy experts, campaigners, innovators, and researchers across Washington and Oregon, providing strategic direction for one of the most effective regional climate and clean economy organizations in the nation. Under his leadership, Climate Solutions and our many allies have successfully passed some of the best climate policies in the United States. 

Prior to coming to Climate Solutions, Gregg served as the Executive Director of the Washington Toxics Coalition for 7 years and as the Executive Director of the California-based Pesticide Watch for 5 years. During that time, he played a leadership role in creating and developing a number of leading coalitions working on environmental health issues, including the Toxic Free Legacy Coalition,Californians for Pesticide Reform, and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Bodies. At Climate Solutions, he helped to found the Washington-based Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and Renew Oregon.

Gregg began his professional career as an organizer for Green Corps, working in Washington, DC, Vermont, and California. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Dickinson College.

When not at work, Gregg spends time with his family and raising awareness about Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that his son Jude has and that he is passionate about finding a cure for.