Photo of high prairie with Mt. Adams in background
Two years ago today: One of biggest climate wins in Oregon history
Today is a significant milestone for Oregon’s climate progress, but it requires a little time traveling to the cusp of the pre-COVID times to fully appreciate how far we’ve come.
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. 

house with solar panels

Clean, climate-friendly buildings can help Oregon build back better

We can rebuild and recover in a more just, clean, healthy, and smart way—while creating lots of high quality green jobs along the way. One of those climate-smart and equitable solutions to build back better than before is right in front of us, and all around us: our homes and other buildings.

Climate Leaders Live: Building our Clean Energy Future

Our first Climate Leaders Live event featured Lucas Joppa (Chief Environmental Officer, Microsoft) and Rep. Laurie Jinkins (Speaker, Washington State House of Representatives) discussing climate progress and clean energy.

Oregon Capitol in springtime

Oregon fills leadership gap on parallel COVID, climate crises

Global warming has not paused to respect social distancing during these ‘corona times.’ However, in early March, Oregon Governor Kate Brown delivered one of the country's strongest Executive Orders on climate in early March, now called the “Oregon Climate Action Plan.”

The good, the bad, and the opportunity for climate action in Washington

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. 

Let's say yes to healthier buildings for a healthier climate

With SB 5293/HB 1257, Washington can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and make buildings healthier to live and work in. 

Clean buildings are part of the climate solution

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.

rhododendron blooming

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

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

installing solar panels, Oregon Department of Transportation

Reducing Pollution, Investing in Solutions

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

Unlocking deep energy efficiency in buildings

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?

Portland moving forward on residential energy efficiency

The City of Portland is accepting comments on a draft policy to measure the energy efficiency of homes, as part of a long-term strategy to increase energy efficiency, reduce homeowner costs, and to curb a major source of carbon emissions.

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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.
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100 percent clean bus at Washington State Capitol

2021: Action time for climate in the Washington Legislature

Naysayers will claim that this is not the time for climate action in Washington, not with COVID, racial injustice, and economic recovery on the agenda. But we don’t need to choose between our major priorities: we can achieve climate progress, recover from COVID impacts, and fight systemic racism all at the same time.
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