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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

Better transit, safer streets, cleaner air for Portland: Vote YES on Measure 26-218

by Meredith Connolly and Victoria Paykar and Sara Wright on October 9, 2020

Climate Solutions and Oregon Environmental Council proudly endorse Let’s Get Moving 2020. Don’t miss your chance to vote YES on Measure 26-218 at the…

Cap-and-reduce: Will DEQ step up to the plate?

by Zach Baker on September 25, 2020

By no longer allowing industries to spew unlimited amounts of pollution into our air, DEQ's new cap-and-reduce policy can help transition Oregon to…

Support our fire-impacted neighbors in Southern Oregon

by Jonathan Lee on September 14, 2020

Thousands of people in the Rogue Valley have been displaced by wildfires and hundreds of homes, businesses, and community spaces have been destroyed…

It doesn't have to feel like Life on Mars

by Gregg Small on September 10, 2020

Our climate movement is more unified than ever, but we're reaching a critical point where we must change a lot of things all at once. Let's do this…

3 ways to cope with the smoke

by Jonathan Lee on September 9, 2020

If you live west of the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest, you likely woke up yesterday to an awful late-summer surprise (if you weren't under…

Cap-and-reduce: What’s at stake as DEQ kicks off program design

by Zach Baker on September 1, 2020

One major component of the Oregon Climate Action Plan is a directive for the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to set up a new program…

Clean Trucks for Justice

by Victoria Paykar on August 7, 2020

Our state needs to prioritize cleaning up the delivery trucks, transit and school buses, big rigs, and other commercial vehicles that make up the…

Stop Cuts to Oregon’s Rooftop Solar Rebate Program

by Jonathan Lee on July 28, 2020

Oregon legislators have proposed cutting the state’s only support for many rural and low-income communities to access solar and energy storage for…

Portland Metro voters will get chance to say YES to safe, clean and efficient transportation

by Victoria Paykar on July 7, 2020

The Portland metro region needs safe, efficient, and affordable transportation options. Let’s Get Moving 2020 will help make these improvements…

Oregon’s Climate Action Plan crosses first milestone

by Zach Baker on June 24, 2020

Last month, twelve state agencies delivered their plans to carry out the Governor’s Executive Order on climate. Here's what we know so far.

3 ways you can support COVID-19 economic justice today (Oregon edition)

by Jonathan Lee on May 16, 2020

Many of the workers most essential in our communities and society, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, are also am

Oregon fills leadership gap on parallel COVID, climate crises

by Meredith Connolly on April 24, 2020

Global warming has not paused to respect social distancing during these ‘corona times.’ However, in early March, Oregon Governor Kate Brown delivered…

3 more ways to support a just response to COVID-19 and climate this week (Oregon edition)

by Jonathan Lee on April 16, 2020

THIS WEEK: Help keep students fed in your community, give blood, and support your local domestic violence shelter.

3 more ways to support a just response to COVID-19 and climate this week (Oregon edition)

by Jonathan Lee on April 10, 2020

Support the Oregon Food Bank, give to Causa's Oregon Worker Relief Fund, and get your COVID-19 news from reputable sources.

Oregon reclaims leadership on bold climate action

by Zach Baker on March 10, 2020

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has fulfilled her long-standing promise to take strong executive action to curb climate pollution. Learn more about what it…

Climate Leaders Live: Oregon's 2020 Energy Report

Every two years, the Oregon Department of Energy releases its Biennial Energy Report, providing Oregonians with a rich, in-depth analysis of the state's energy sources and usage trends. This webinar featured Janine Benner from the Oregon Department of Energy and Meredith Connolly from Climate Solutions, discussing what powers our energy system today, where the trends are headed, and it all means for an energy-smart, climate-safe future for Oregon.