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Photo of Oregon river in a forest

Oregon’s stunning natural beauty and history of clean energy innovation position it as a natural climate leader that can inspire action in the Northwest and beyond.

As a Northwest-based nonprofit, Climate Solutions advances local, statewide, and regional action on climate and clean energy through championing transformational policies and innovations and catalyzing powerful partnerships. We advocate for innovative and equitable policy solutions to reduce pollution and create clean energy jobs and climate-resilient communities across the state.

Climate Solutions is focused on accelerating a swift and equitable transition to 100% clean energy, and we are working in three key areas: electricity, transportation, and buildings. These are the sectors responsible for the majority of climate pollution in our region, and transitioning off fossil fuels to clean energy alternatives is necessary, urgent and possible. To achieve this, the Oregon team is working to electrify everything from cars, trucks, and buses to homes and buildings, and power it all with 100% clean electricity.

After several years of legislative dysfunction and climate policy stagnation in our state, as well as unrelenting climate impacts that have harmed our communities, Oregon is starting to reassert its climate leadership. In March 2020, Governor Kate Brown signed Executive Order 20-04 (a.k.a. the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP), enacting a suite of climate policy priorities across state government, including a doubling of the successful Clean Fuels Program standards, establishing new Climate Protection Program regulations (a.k.a. cap-and-reduce) for transportation, fossil gas and industrial polluters, and mandating that every department of state government do what they can to reduce climate pollution. Additionally, in June 2021, Oregon's legislature passed House Bill 2021, which includes a binding commitment for 100% of Oregon's electricity to be generated from clean and carbon-free sources by the year 2040. These were hard-fought victories that will have major benefits for addressing the climate crisis and our state’s transition to clean energy, but much work remains—particularly to rein in fossil fuel pollution from our transportation and buildings sectors.

Climate Solutions is working in Oregon to:

Click each subheading below to learn more.
Incorporate a racial and social justice lens in our work

We must ensure that we are addressing historic injustices and current inequities that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous and people of color as well as low-income communities. Without addressing these injustices into our climate solutions, we will not succeed in creating a livable and just world where we can all thrive.

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Ensure that our state keeps its commitment to 100% clean energy

In June 2021, Oregon’s legislature passed House Bill 2021, which includes a binding commitment for 100% of Oregon’s electricity to be generated from clean and carbon-free sources by the year 2040, along with renewable energy investments in communities, and assurances that clean energy projects will create family-wage jobs. 

By getting to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, Oregon will set the most aggressive clean energy transition timeline among US states. Our Climate Solutions team will be closely monitoring implementation of this major climate progress by regulatory agencies and working with partners to ensure that the clean energy transition benefits communities across the state. We will continue to advocate for innovative, equitable clean energy policies and solutions to reduce climate pollution produced by the transportation and buildings sectors by powering it with 100% clean energy.

Accelerate clean transportation

Toxic air pollution from the transportation system and the climate crisis have caused public health crises in our communities.The transportation sector is Oregon's largest source of climate pollution, and according to our recent transportation research report, both electrifying our transportation system and reducing our reliance on driving alone (called “vehicle miles traveled”) are key ways to clean it up.

We are working with state and local governments, transit districts, and utility providers to equitably accelerate transportation electrification by adopting medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission regulations, building more publicly accessible and affordable charging stations, promoting financial incentives for individual and fleet EV purchases, supporting transportation options and programs that are inclusive to community needs, encouraging transit agencies to buy zero-emission electric buses, and working in coalition to advocate for a clean and just transportation system. 

Advocate for clean, climate-resilient buildings

Heating and powering our homes and businesses generates a substantial amount of our climate-changing pollution and contributes to the energy burden experienced disproportionately by low-income communities, renters and communities of color (paying three times more than average). The use of fossil gas in the electricity sector and for direct use for homes and buildings is on the rise in Oregon and nationwide, despite its significant public health, racial justice, and climate consequences. We are working to pass and implement cutting-edge policies at the state, local, regulatory, and utility levels that increase clean energy solutions like energy efficiency and electric appliances while equitably phasing out the use of gas and other fossil fuels to power them. If every home and building was energy efficient and fossil-free, we would significantly reduce our climate pollution, drastically cut energy costs for owners and renters (decreasing energy burden), and improve air quality where we live and work. 

Stop new investments by the coal, oil, and gas industries

The fossil fuel industry wants to keep us hooked on energy sources that are both hazardous to our health and contribute to climate pollution, while using our state, and the backyards of frontline communities to expand their profits. With our urging, Oregon has already taken several momentous steps by stopping Portland General Electric from building a new fracked gas plant and ending Oregon's dependence on coal-fired power. We will continue sending a clear message that expanding fossil fuel infrastructure is not welcome in Oregon. 

 

Read on for the latest updates on Climate Solutions' work in Oregon:

Oregon State Government

The good, the bad, and the necessary next steps

by Jonathan Lee on November 19, 2021

Harrowing floods  After a summer where record-breaking heat waves made international headlines, low-lying t

VICTORY! Oregon accelerates toward clean truck leadership

by Victoria Paykar on November 17, 2021

Earlier today, Oregon's Environmental Quality Commission voted to pass the Clean Truck Rules that will help us transition to zero emission trucks and…

TriMet is on the road to clean and climate-friendly public transportation

by Jonathan Lee on November 2, 2021

Oregon’s largest public transit agency has committed to fueling its existing fleet of transit vehicles with renewable diesel, as part of its…

Turns out it’s a bad idea to burn fossil fuels inside our buildings too

by Greer Ryan on October 10, 2021

As heat rises, fossil fuel pollution from Oregon’s buildings looms large.

Creating a Wave--the Pacific Northwest Says Yes to 100% Clean Electricity

by Kimberly Larson on October 8, 2021

Our latest Climate Leaders Live webinar celebrated the Pacific Northwest as the first region to commit to 100% clean energy.

Clean Trucks Are Here and Ready to Go

by Victoria Paykar and Leah Missik on September 27, 2021

Right now, both Washington and Oregon are taking important steps to clean up bigger trucks and vehicles. Read on to learn more about these potential…

Rein in the biggest polluters, avert climate chaos

by Jonathan Lee on August 25, 2021

Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality has been developing rules to hold our state's biggest polluters accountable for the first time, but we'…

100% clean despite the heat

by Stephanie Noren on July 30, 2021

A federal "down payment" on climate (?), green hydrogen, and a note on this summer's extreme heat 

So… What just happened in Salem?

by Jonathan Lee on July 23, 2021

Oregon’s 2021 legislative session has come to a close. We’ve made some major progress on statewide climate action, but before we dive into those…

Keeping the momentum going on clean transportation

by Victoria Paykar on July 8, 2021

Oregon passed two clean transportation bills so far this year, but our work isn’t over.

Days of slow burning

by Jonathan Lawson on July 1, 2021

Last weekend's record-breaking heat dome has largely passed, but continues to wreak havoc with heat-related deaths, power outages and wildfires

WE DID IT: 100% clean energy for all Oregonians

by Meredith Connolly on June 26, 2021

HUGE NEWS from Salem!! House Bill 2021, which commits Oregon to 100% clean, carbon-free energy by 2040, was just passed by the state legislature!

It's the 11th hour for climate action in Salem

by Meredith Connolly on June 4, 2021

23 days. That’s how much time is left in the legislative session in Salem.   

Waking up from the fever dream

by Stephanie Noren on June 4, 2021

Climate tailwinds in Oregon, Ford reigns EV, and Big Oil shakedown in this week's ClimateCast 

Electric truck

Clean Trucks Are Here and Ready to Go

Right now, both Washington and Oregon are taking important steps to clean up bigger trucks and vehicles. Read on to learn more about these potential rules and how you can help ensure our states adopt them in a strong and equitable way!
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11th Annual CUB Policy Conference

Increasingly, the Pacific Northwest sees the impacts of climate change in real time. Recently, catastrophic wildfires and wind and ice storms have placed a massive strain on our energy systems. In severe cases, customers have been left without power for days or weeks on end. Meanwhile, our policy climate is shifting decidedly toward a model of 100% clean electricity. Increasing reliance on variable resources raises questions of resource adequacy and reliability. How can we reliably heat and cool everyone’s homes, while keeping service affordable for all?