Oregon fills leadership gap on parallel COVID, climate crises
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.
States and 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 lawmakers and community partners to move rapidly 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.
Oregon businesses are responding in ever-increasing numbers to the threat of global warming, and the ways climate change is harming our state's economy right now. You'll be inspired to see who's on the list!
City leaders across the United States see that energy efficiency means not only carbon reduction but also good government and sound economic policy:
Bellevue, WA has been quietly earning accolades for its achievements in sustainability, clean energy and energy efficiency. What's next for this leading city?
Redmond, WA is walking its clean energy talk, allocating $820,000 to reduce the city's energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, WA is effectively a city of 500 acres and more than 125 buildings, with a daytime population of 58,000.
The 2015 Washington State Legislature gets underway in Olympia, and local officials across Washington are ready.
Elected officials from King County and 12 cities commit to an ambitious carbon reduction agenda for 2015.
Working together, local groups in Portland's Cully neighborhood are redefining sustainability and development as an anti-poverty strategy.
On-the-ground urban carbon reduction strategies are essential with or without carbon pricing, as they are the bricks-and-mortar pathways to a low-carbon future.
Renewables gain market share as prices drop, Royal Dutch Shell rebuffs 'stranded asset' worries, California cap-and-trade laid bare, and much more
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Climate policy is not a single undertaking. We need many solutions working together, building on the success of clean electricity to end our reliance on fossil fuels in our buildings and our transportation.
Mitigating climate change requires holistic action across all sectors of our society. The good news is that actions that reduce our carbon emissions often have positive benefits on other aspects of our communities and economy. This is why we’re excited to support the Clean Buildings Package of legislation in Washington State.
Spring is in the air, and climate action is on the move in Oregon.
Clean energy, cost saving, job creating investments from the ten states that have already put a price on climate pollution
Oregon Governor Brown issued executive orders advancing energy efficiency and electric vehicles, and a new coalition announced its formation to accelerate the rapid adoption of zero energy buildings in Oregon.
We can dramatically cut carbon emissions simply by making our buildings more comfortable, cost-effective and efficient. Why haven't decades of energy efficiency programs accomplished more?