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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

Climate Emergency! Meet us in Salem

by Meredith Connolly on February 7, 2020

A majority of Oregonians support climate actio

Clean. Electricity. Everywhere.

by Jonathan Lawson on February 7, 2020

Climate progress confirmed as a top-tier political issue. Duh!

It's go-time for the Oregon Legislature to pass cap-and-invest

by Zach Baker on January 31, 2020

As we head into the 2020 session, we’re doing everything we can to ensure the Legislature passes a strong cap and invest policy. We’re also working…

YES: Oregon will lead on climate in 2020

by Meredith Connolly on January 24, 2020

Climate and clean energy advocates are determined to make 2020 a year of climate progress in Oregon. Here's how.

Oregon is falling behind on climate action

by Jonathan Lee on January 6, 2020

A growing list of states and territories have adopted carbon pricing policies, enacted more robust low-carbon fuel standards, and committed to a…

Maintaining hope in the age of climate change

by Devon Downeysmith on December 20, 2019

What it's like to read climate news every day: some days, it’s inspiring. Other days, it weighs heavy on the heart.

Remind AAA of Oregon to #DoBetterOnClimate

by Jonathan Lee on December 4, 2019

We need one more big push to make clear to AAA of Oregon and other corporate interests that blocking climate action is bad for business.

FILED: 100% clean air ballot initiatives

by Jonathan Lee on October 31, 2019

Earlier this week, our coalition of partners officially filed critical climate protection ballot measures with the Oregon Secretary of State's office…

AAA Gets a Triple "F" on Climate Policy

by Meredith Connolly on September 12, 2019

The end of Oregon’s 2019 legislative session exposed some of the egregious corporate lobbying in Salem that blocks climate action – sometimes in…

Shifting electric cars and buses into high gear

by Jonathan Lee on August 1, 2019

Oregon's legislature just established an ambitious statewide timeline for adopting zero-emission cars, buses, and commercial vehicles.

Shifting electric cars and buses into high gear

by Jonathan Lee on August 1, 2019

Oregon's legislature just established an ambitious statewide timeline for adopting zero-emission cars, buses, and commercial vehicles.

What Oregon's leaders got done (and didn't) for the climate

by Zach Baker on July 8, 2019

Oregon’s 2019 legislative session will likely go down in history for what did not happen for the climate - and rightly so. 

Oregon's Legislative session is done. We are not.

by Meredith Connolly on June 30, 2019

Will Oregon be the state that ran away and hid from our climate responsibility, or will we reclaim our position of climate leadership?

Oregon close to becoming second state to cap carbon emissions

by Climate Solutions on June 18, 2019

After a record-length debate following record-high temperatures in Salem, the Oregon House of Representatives passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act, HB…

This month, we can make Clean Energy Jobs a reality in Oregon

by Meredith Connolly on June 14, 2019

Clean Energy Jobs is now in the home stretch. Contact your legislators today, and let's make history!