Panoramic photo of Bend Oregon
Turns out it’s a bad idea to burn fossil fuels inside our buildings too
As heat rises, fossil fuel pollution from Oregon’s buildings looms large.
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. 

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 

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. 

The Path to Urban Carbon Reduction

The international climate talks are a moment in time for forward-looking urban leaders to demonstrate the collective political will they have amassed for bold climate action, and to show how far they have already come in reducing carbon emissions.

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Carbon Reduction Know-How

In the early days of climate action, urban plans to reduce carbon frequently suffered from the laundry list syndrome: cataloguing potential strategies without any evidence of how they would meet long-term goals. Since then, cities and counties have become more sophisticated about cutting carbon, and are developing clean energy transition plans to do it.

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The Silent Hero: breaking down barriers to energy efficiency

Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson once named energy efficiency the “silent hero” in the climate crisis. Republican Governor Butch Otter of Idaho called efficiency the “low hanging fruit in the energy orchard.” We know that a key way to reduce our climate pollution is to reduce our energy demand. By reducing energy use, we also save money on our utility bills. So why are there still barriers to homeowners embracing deep energy efficiency? 

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