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. 

Bellevue builds clean energy cred

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 gets its clean energy house in order

Redmond, WA is walking its clean energy talk, allocating $820,000 to reduce the city's energy consumption and carbon footprint.

King County makes buildings energy-smart

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.

Washington State Capitol Building

Time for Local Climate Action in WA State

The 2015 Washington State Legislature gets underway in Olympia, and local officials across Washington are ready.

Getting Serious about Reducing Carbon Emissions

Elected officials from King County and 12 cities commit to an ambitious carbon reduction agenda for 2015.

How a strip club becomes a climate justice solution

Working together, local groups in Portland's Cully neighborhood are redefining sustainability and development as an anti-poverty strategy.  

Night time at the Shoreline city limits

Art and Science: Carbon-Cutting in Shoreline, WA

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.

ClimateCast Logo over graph of solar and wind power production

Utility bonds downgraded on promise of rooftop solar with storage

Renewables gain market share as prices drop, Royal Dutch Shell rebuffs 'stranded asset' worries, California cap-and-trade laid bare, and much more

Plane and ClimateCast Logo

Solar prices plummet, utility model in jeopardy

In this week’s ClimateCast: British Airways inks contract to buy fuel made from garbage; Keystone pipeline decision delayed until after November elections; solar prices plummeting to parity with market prices; and more.

Capturing carbon, saving money, enhancing regional communities

On August 1, the City of Portland graciously hosted the Northwest Biocarbon Initiative (NBI) along with our partners at Ecotrust and the 

International Conference and Workshop on Transactive Energy

The GridWise® Architecture Council and Smart Grid Northwest are pleased to announce that the Third International Conference and Workshop on Transactive Energy will be held May 17 through May 19th, 2016, in Portland, Oregon, at the World Trade Center.

The conference and workshops will bring together representatives of government, industry, utilities, vendor organizations and academia who have an interest in advancing transactive energy—an approach that combines economic and control techniques to improve power grid reliability and efficiency. 

How Carbon Pricing Built the Clean Energy Industry in Denmark

As a part of an international climate and energy actionable knowledge exchange, i-SUSTAIN is gathering together experts from Denmark, Sweden and Washington state in Olympia and Seattle from April 11-12, 2016. The April convening focuses on district energy and combined heat and power, with this bi-directional knowledge exchange on climate and energy continuing in 2016 with other key action areas.

An open-to-the-public meeting with the delegates is being offered in Olympia (April 11th) and Seattle (April 12th):

WWU 2016 Energy Symposium

On April 19, 2016 the Western Washington University Institute for Energy Studies will be holding its first Energy Symposium.  Students, faculty, and invited experts in the field of energy will be joining together on Western's campus for presentations, lively panel discussions, student poster sessions, and networking. Space is limited. Register now.

Local Impact 16 Conference

The #LocalImpact16 Conference will empower the next generation of sustainability and social responsibility leaders by providing access to networking events, engaging workshops, and discussions lead by professionals, activists and community leaders who are already creating change. We are looking for innovative and inspired people to join the movement and together we will maximize the positive impact we have on the prosperity of people AND the planet.

The Seattle Go Green! Conference

The 7th annual GoGreen Seattle Conference, is a one-day, interactive learning experience featuring tactical how-tos, a solutions-centered deep dive into new ways of thinking, and a showcase of regional business leaders and their success stories. With a distinct platform of bringing together leaders from across industries, GoGreen builds viable networks and cross-pollinates sustainability best practices throughout the regional business community.