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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

Success! TriMet buses going 100% diesel-free

by Meredith Connolly on September 28, 2018

The Portland region's largest transit agency has committed to transitioning to a 100% clean, diesel-free bus fleet over the next two decades.

Oregon regulators recommend strategies to decarbonize electricity

by Zach Baker on September 28, 2018

Oregon Public Utility Commission recommends changes for the electricity sector to better address climate change and equity

Is there a path out of this?

by Gregg Small on September 27, 2018

As the season shifts, so does our determination to fight—and win—on climate and clean energy.

Decision coming soon! Tell TriMet you want clean electric buses

by Meredith Connolly on September 20, 2018

TriMet is at a critical decision point on the path to zero emission electric buses, and wants to hear from you.

Legal Victory Preserves Momentum on Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program

by Mara Gross on September 7, 2018

9th Circuit upholds lower court ruling, dismissing oil industry challenge to Oregon's low carbon fuel standard

Milwaukie City Council tells TriMet: time to embrace zero emission buses

by Zach Baker on July 27, 2018

Milwaukie, OR has joined with Portland and Multnomah County, calling for transit agency TriMet to kick diesel and rapidly electrify their bus fleet!…

One Year Later: Portland and Multnomah Co.'s 100% Clean Energy Resolutions

by Zach Baker on June 1, 2018

From accelerating the transition of Oregon’s most populous city and county to clean energy, to inspiring other jurisdictions to pass their own…

What’s new in Oregon: Pricing pollution, electrifying transit, and more

by Meredith Connolly on May 24, 2018

Spring is in the air, and climate action is on the move in Oregon. 

Tell TriMet: Time to expand and electrify transit

by Meredith Connolly on May 18, 2018

If you live in the greater Portland area, your voice is needed to tell TriMet that you support frequent, affordable, zero emission transit service,…

Buses drive into the future with electric fleets

by Devon Downeysmith on May 7, 2018

The transportation sector's immense contribution to global warming makes it a very important place to reduce emissions. That and more new climate and…

2018 Oregon Legislative Roundup

by Meredith Connolly on March 6, 2018

While the Oregon legislature didn’t pass the Clean Energy Jobs bill this year, we are incredibly well-positioned to pass the policy to reduce climate…

Rural Oregon transit agency drives toward electric buses

by Alison Wiley on March 1, 2018

A southern Oregon transit leader shares what it takes to for his rural community to make the switch to electric buses. 

Coal phaseout continues; states on fire for climate action

by Devon Downeysmith on February 27, 2018

US support increases for phasing out coal; some utilities show a greater taste for renewables, and more in this week's ClimateCast.

One step closer to limiting climate pollution in Oregon

by Meredith Connolly on February 14, 2018

On Oregon's birthday, State House and Senate Committees both advance the Clean Energy Jobs bill. 

Climate action in Oregon, and clean energy everywhere

by Devon Downeysmith on February 13, 2018

In this week's ClimateCast: An Oregon bill seeks to account for the true cost of climate pollution. Clean energy deployments are on the rise--but so…

Oregon Capitol at night

Oregon’s legislature fails again to deliver on climate action

Once again, a minority bloc of Republican lawmakers backed by big polluters – this time in both the Senate and the House – chose to break our democratic process by refusing to show up for work for weeks, many hiding out of state. This is not how democracy is supposed to work; Oregonians deserve better.

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Rally at Oregon Capitol

Delay is denial: Oregon's climate emergency needs us all

Our #1 priority remains comprehensive statewide climate action. The bill to make this happen, Senate Bill 1530, was just passed by the joint budget committees and is currently ready for a vote on the Senate floor. However, immediately after the budget vote this morning, eleven Senate Republicans fled the Capitol yet again to deny quorum for the Senate to conduct any business.

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

Submitted by Zach Baker on Fri, 01/31/2020 - 16:28

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 on a number of other complementary bills to move the ball forward on climate – some of which are also unfinished business from last session.

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