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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

Reducing Pollution, Investing in Solutions

by Mara Gross on January 29, 2018

Clean energy, cost saving, job creating investments from the ten states that have already put a price on climate pollution

Time to make climate history in Oregon

by Meredith Connolly on January 24, 2018

With the Clean Energy Jobs bill, we have a huge opportunity for Oregon to take a bold step in the fight against climate change. 

All Aboard! Accelerating TriMet’s transition to electric buses

by Meredith Connolly on January 18, 2018

It’s time for Oregon’s largest transit agency to stop buying new diesel buses and make the switch to electric. 

States step up to fight climate challenges

by Devon Downeysmith on January 17, 2018

Global temperatures aren't the only thing heating up--states and cities are showing an appetite this year for strong climate policy. We've got the…

Let’s make 2018 the year of clean energy in Oregon

by Meredith Connolly on January 5, 2018

As 2018 kicks off, we’re already running full steam ahead toward passing the Clean Energy Jobs bill and other strategies for transitioning Oregon to…

2017: The highlights were pretty bright

by Gregg Small on December 19, 2017

Yes, 2017 was an awful year in many ways. But it was also a year of transition for climate action. We and many others affirmed our ability to make…

Oregon Governor takes significant step to reduce climate pollution from buildings

by David Van't Hof on December 7, 2017

Oregon Governor Brown's recent executive order calls for energy efficient design in new buildings that will save people money on utility bills and…

With EV car share, driving clean is convenient and affordable

by Jair Lazaro on December 5, 2017

One family's experience with Portland's innovative EV car-sharing program.

Mainstreaming climate risk... and clean energy opportunity

by Gregg Small on November 16, 2017

Our annual dinner with Kate Gordon in Portland this week laid the groundwork for a season of effective climate action in Oregon and Washington. 

On climate disruption, ending silence and heeding science

by Devon Downeysmith on September 19, 2017

Breaking through Climate Silence  In the

Hope under heavy skies

by Gregg Small on September 7, 2017

We're gaining momentum towards 100% clean energy. Here's how we're laying the groundwork, and what comes next.

We stopped PGE’s fracked gas plants!

by David Van't Hof on August 10, 2017

In another step toward a 100% clean energy future in the Northwest, the Oregon Public Utility Commission rejected Portland General Electric’s…

Assessing climate progress at the Oregon legislature

by David Van't Hof on July 19, 2017

Oregon’s 2017 legislative session goes down as a mixed bag for climate and clean energy. We stopped a major rollback and secured funding for …

The world (mostly) unites for climate action

by Devon Downeysmith on July 11, 2017

G20 leaders recommit to the road through Paris--with the US government on the sidelines for now. More bad news for oil, more promising economic signs…

Oregonians' Right To Clean Fuels: Back in the Fast Lane

by Meredith Connolly on July 6, 2017

We’re breathing a sigh of relief. We succeeded in protecting Oregon's Clean Fuels Program from attacks by the fossil fuel industry, while also…

Oregon is falling behind on climate action

A growing list of states and territories have adopted carbon pricing policies, enacted more robust low-carbon fuel standards, and committed to a timeline for transitioning to 100% clean electricity, but Oregon is not among them.

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FILED: 100% clean air ballot initiatives

Earlier this week, our coalition of partners officially filed critical climate protection ballot measures with the Oregon Secretary of State's office, having collected twice as many signatures as needed to qualify.

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AAA Gets a Triple "F" on Climate Policy

The end of Oregon’s 2019 legislative session exposed some of the egregious corporate lobbying in Salem that blocks climate action – sometimes in public, but many times behind the scenes in the halls of the State Capitol. One of those companies is the American Automobile Association (AAA) of Oregon.  Yes, the same AAA that you call for a lifeline when your car breaks down – but apparently that lifeline doesn’t extend to the climate emergency we’re currently experiencing.

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