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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

Oregon's Climate Action Plan (OCAP) turns one

by Jonathan Lee on March 30, 2021

Just over a year ago, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Executive Order

Oregon charging ahead for clean energy

by Jonathan Lawson on March 26, 2021

Clean energy advocates in Oregon strategize for progress on electrical grid and EVs. Meanwhile, US banks are investing in climate chaos.

Fire and Ice: How Oregon’s past year makes clear we need 100% clean electricity

by Meredith Connolly on March 12, 2021

Oregon continues to pump out more climate pollution every year, but we can pass 100% Clean right now to lay the foundation for a clean energy-based…

Powering up Oregon's EV adoption rates

by Victoria Paykar on March 4, 2021

Ensuring that the future of Oregon’s transportation is electric—not burning fossil fuels—is critical for cleaning up our air and for achieving our…

2021: Action time for climate in the Oregon Legislature

by Meredith Connolly on February 24, 2021

As the historic wildfires that devastated Oregon last September and the most recent ice storms make clear, climate chaos is here and harming Oregon’s…

Transition 2021 off to a good start

by Jonathan Lawson on January 28, 2021

"Federal climate action:" no longer an oxymoron

A climate protection plan that exempts gas power plants(?!)

by Zach Baker on January 22, 2021

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has proposed exempting the state's fossil gas power plants from their Climate Protection Program…

Is Oregon's clean energy transition on track?

by Jonathan Lee on January 15, 2021

Join our discussion exploring what powers our energy system today, where the trends are headed, and it all means for an energy-smart, climate-safe…

Oregon's Environmental Quality Commission chooses industry over communities to develop air pollution regulations

by Zach Baker on December 23, 2020

The EQC has decided to stack the cap-and-reduce rulemaking advisory committee with fossil fuel and big business interests.

Here's your clean energy team for 2021

by Jonathan Lawson on December 17, 2020

Biden's climate picks bring experience, grit and a focus on environmental justice. Plus: Who the gas industry is targeting now, and climate book…

Urge Multnomah County to build 100% clean energy-powered libraries

by Jonathan Lee on December 8, 2020

Multnomah County voters recently approved $387 million in library construction bonds. Let's ensure this new building is 100% clean and fossil free.

Climate Leaders Live: What do the election results mean for climate action in Oregon?

by Jonathan Lee on November 2, 2020

After you vote... join the Climate Solutions Oregon team for our take on general election results and what’s next for our statewide climate action…

Mayor Mark Gamba on Measure 26-218 and local climate action

by Jonathan Lee on October 27, 2020

We recently interviewed Mark Gamba, Mayor of Milwaukie, Oregon, about the Let’s Get Moving 2020 ballot measure, the transportation improvements he’s…

Take the Climate Voter Pledge!

by Jonathan Lee on October 11, 2020

One of the strongest ways to address the climate crisis head-on is with your vote.

For Fair and Honest Elections, vote YES on Measure 107

by Meredith Connolly on October 9, 2020

Oregon’s lack of effective campaign finance limits allows corporations to buy massive influence while casting a dark shadow on state and local…