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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

Clean energy strengthens power grids, prosperity, people and the planet

by Devon Downeysmith on June 27, 2017

The fast expansion of solar and wind energy is strengthening power grids; resistance continues to climate intransigence; sour outlook for fossil fuel…

Window closing soon for climate action at the Oregon Legislature

by David Van't Hof on June 21, 2017

As Oregon’s 2017 legislative session enters its final weeks, we’re fighting hard to take the steps forward we urgently need.  

Clean Fuels at risk in Oregon

by David Van't Hof on June 12, 2017

Oregon is at risk of moving backwards on climate change. The Oregon Senate is working behind closed doors on a plan to weaken the Clean Fuels program…

Turning the wheel of revolution

by Gregg Small on June 6, 2017

Following Portland and Multnomah County, our region can and will lead the way towards 100% clean energy.

Oregon’s largest city and county take bold step towards 100% clean

by David Van't Hof on June 2, 2017

The same day President Trump announced his disastrous decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Portland and Multnomah County became the…

Your help is needed to protect Clean Fuels in Oregon

by David Van't Hof on May 19, 2017

Fossil fuel companies are stepping up their attacks on one of Oregon’s most successful strategies to reduce climate pollution: the Clean Fuels…

Craving for clean energy leads Microsoft to quit PSE

by Seth Zuckerman on April 17, 2017

Portland and Multnomah County aim for 100% renewable energy, Tesla announces electric semi and pick-up trucks, Maryland to offer tax credits for…

What Oregon's Clean Energy Jobs bill does (and why you should care)

by Meredith Connolly on April 5, 2017

Everything you wanted to know about cap and invest but were afraid to ask. 

Cully neighborhood test drives electric car sharing

by Mara Gross on March 30, 2017

Last week, Drive Oregon kicked off an EV pilot project that makes three electric cars available to Hacienda CDC and community members in Portland's …

Ten US states show economic benefits from capping climate pollution

by Meredith Connolly on March 29, 2017

The track records of nine Northeastern states and California, which have already put a price on carbon pollution, show us what a tremendous…

Keeping the Frack Out: Clean Energy for Oregon

by David Van't Hof on March 20, 2017

Building new gas-fired power plants will lock Oregon into decades of climate-disrupting fossil fuel energy at a moment when clean energy sources like…

EPA to put mpg gains on hold, but EVs grow anyway

by Seth Zuckerman on March 6, 2017

Oregon lawmakers weigh competing bills to price carbon pollution, China’s coal consumption falls for third straight year, Trump’s EPA budget calls…

To protect the Oregon we love, now is the time to act on climate change

by David Van't Hof on February 17, 2017

The Oregon legislature is getting to work, and the state has a great opportunity to grow its clean energy economy.

Rise of EVs and PVs set to disrupt energy markets

by Seth Zuckerman on February 6, 2017

Audi president tells dealers that EVs will dominate market within a decade, Toshiba to quit building nuclear power plants, Sweden plans to be climate…

Making the Grade: Oregon’s Clean Energy Report Card

by Meredith Connolly on January 30, 2017

On the 10th anniversary of Oregon’s climate goals, a new Oregon Clean Energy Report Card assesses what has been accomplished and where we still need…

Oregon Capitol in spring

Your advocacy is working!

Submitted by Zach Baker on Tue, 04/02/2019 - 00:00

Oregon is getting closer to passing landmark climate legislation. Your help is needed to send the strongest possible bill to the floor for a vote. 

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Initial take on Clean Energy Jobs bill release

Submitted by Mara Gross on Fri, 02/01/2019 - 09:10

The Oregon Legislature has released a draft of the Clean Energy Jobs bill. Climate Solutions is focused on passing a strong policy that reduces emissions quickly, holds polluters accountable, invests in clean energy projects across the state, and ensures a majority of investments benefit those most impacted by climate change.

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