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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

Defend clean fuels in Oregon!

by Kristen Sheeran on June 15, 2015

You know you’re doing something right when Big Oil is working this hard to stop you. 

Keep the wheels turning for Oregon’s clean economy

by Lisa Adatto on February 4, 2015

On February 2, the first day of the Oregon Legislature, the Senate Environment & Natural Resources committee will

Super session in Salem starts today

by Kristen Sheeran on February 2, 2015

Working together, we can make sure Oregon seizes the day. Here’s a rundown of several priorities and upcoming events in 2015.

Few bright spots for climate in midterm election results

by Seth Zuckerman on November 10, 2014

A few victories soften the blow of an otherwise painful midterm election, Oregon NGO cleanses its portfolio of fossil fuels, Brazil attracts cheap…

Autumn action

by Bobby Hayden on October 10, 2014

It’s been an eventful Fall already in the world of climate and clean energy, with more in store. Check out the latest news and upcoming events from…

Coal in the Northwest: let's keep winning this fight

by Beth Doglio on September 24, 2014

There's no need for massive investments in coal export infrastructure; Let’s leave that in the past, build on recent victories, and commit to a…

Coal exports take a hit, solar microgrid rising

by Seth Zuckerman on August 18, 2014

Vermont breaks ground on a solar-powered microgrid, Oregon rejects Ambre Energy's coal export plan, acidic ocean waters get attention coast to coast…

Homegrown solutions for our health, environment, and economy

by Bobby Hayden on July 8, 2014

Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program is a great step forward. But oil companies are threatening the program’s very existence before it has a real chance to…

Renewables soak up more love in the heartland

by Seth Zuckerman on April 28, 2014

In this week’s ClimateCast: Climate politics shifting in renewables’ favor;  a climate denier changes his stripes; Gov. Kitzhaber comes out against…

Stand with Governor Kitzhaber on coal export

by Joëlle Robinson on April 9, 2014

Recently, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber stated that "It's time to say NO once and for all to coal exports."  We couldn't agree more!  Take a minute…

Spring Forward

by Ann Gravatt on March 13, 2014

This is the week of sleepy (read: grumpy) kids in my house, due to the return of daylight savings time. But even a household disrupted doesn’t…