Photo of sunrise over Steens Mountain - Little Blitzen Gorge, 2016
So… What just happened in Salem?
Oregon’s 2021 legislative session has come to a close. We’ve made some major progress on statewide climate action, but before we dive into those details, let’s talk about how we got here.
Clean buildings

Heating and powering our homes and businesses generates a substantial amount of our climate-changing pollution; our built environment is a major contributor to global warming.  If our homes and buildings were carbon-free and energy efficient, we would significantly reduce our climate pollution, drastically cut energy costs for owners and renters, and improve air quality where we live and work. 

For example, in Washington State, emissions from buildings are growing at a faster rate than any other source of carbon pollution, with this increase largely attributable to the use of fossil gas in homes and buildings. Combusting fossil gas in homes and buildings is not only a significant contributor to climate change, but also poses significant health risks for our communities, children, and other vulnerable populations.

Indoor air quality issues are particularly concentrated for low-income residents in smaller units with poor ventilation. Communities of color are already disproportionately impacted by outdoor air pollution, and should not continue to be disproportionately harmed by poor indoor air quality as well. Gas appliances also worsen our outdoor air quality.  For example, California’s residential appliances releasing more than two times as many NOx emissions as all of their gas power plants combined, and commercial gas appliances releasing just as much NOx pollution as all of California’s cars.

Many cities in the region and around the country are increasingly looking at ensuring all new buildings are electric as a key cost-effective pathway for achieving their local or state greenhouse emissions goals. Electrifying buildings is critical to addressing climate change, but it is also achievable, affordable, safe, and creates a more resilient energy system.

We are working with partners to move toward electrifying our buildings for heating, cooling and cooking.  We can also construct homes and buildings that get all their energy from sustainable sources, and even produce as much energy as they use — net zero energy buildings. 

sunrise over wind farms

Dare to dream of climate optimism

Washington State doubles down on climate action, red meat lies, and building electrification on the rise 

Can you believe it? Believe it: climate progress

Washington State just made history with a suite of legislative actions to address global warming pollution, the long-term need to protect communities most impacted by pollution, and our transition to a clean energy economy. 

Tacoma skyline

Let’s get going on clean and safe buildings for Tacoma!

On April 20th Tacoma set a path forward for clean and safe buildings in their city.

Photo of Multnomah County Main Library

We did it! 100% clean and fossil-free Multnomah county buildings

Multnomah County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution ensuring all new county-owned buildings—including libraries, courthouses, and community centers—are built to be fossil-free and utilize 100% clean and renewable energy.

Oregon Capitol in springtime

Oregonians: It's time to SPRING into climate action!

We're pleased to report forward progress on two of our high-priority climate bills.

Graphic of six major issue areas of the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP)

Oregon's Climate Action Plan (OCAP) turns one

Just over a year ago, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Executive Order 20-04, now cal

100 percent clean bus at Washington State Capitol

We're Past the Halfway Point

We’ve passed the halfway mark in Washington’s Legislative session. Check out our update on Climate Solutions’ top climate priorities, and where we need to apply pressure to make sure our lawmakers demonstrate climate leadership.

ClimateCast banner with photo of gas pipelines in the snow

Sleuthing for truth during power outages

Photos of an ice-coated Texas wind turbine were weaponized as supposed "evidence" that renewables were to blame for widespread power outages.

Stylized photo of Oregon State Capitol building

2021: Action time for climate in the Oregon Legislature

As the historic wildfires that devastated Oregon last September and the most recent ice storms make clear, climate chaos is here and harming Oregon’s communities and well-being now.

ClimateCast - kids jumping

Transition 2021 off to a good start

"Federal climate action:" no longer an oxymoron