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Media Advisory: Portland City Council to consider 2015 Climate Action Plan on June 24



Christine Llobregat

WHO: Portland City Council, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

WHAT: On behalf of all City of Portland bureaus, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will present the proposed draft of the 2015 Climate Action Plan for adoption by Portland City Council on Wednesday, June 24. The plan updates Portland’s roadmap for the community to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, with an interim goal of a 40 percent reduction by 2030.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: City Council Chambers, Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland

WHY: In 1993, Portland was the first city in the United States to create a local action plan for cutting carbon. Since then, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have collaborated to produce updated climate plans that help guide the design and implementation of City and County efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Since 1990, total local carbon emissions have declined by 14 percent while 75,000 more jobs were added to the economy and the population grew by 31 percent. The plan being considered for adoption by City Council includes revisions based on comments and feedback from the public and outlines the actions the City and County will take in the next five years to keep Portland on the path of reducing local carbon emissions.

New focus areas include advancing equity and exploring consumption

Advancing equity: From transportation investments and economic opportunities to tree plantings and policy engagement, the proposed plan prioritizes actions that reduce disparities and ensure that under-served and under-represented communities share in the benefits of climate action work.

Exploring consumption: For the first time, the proposed plan includes a consumption-based inventory that counts carbon emissions associated with the goods and services that are produced elsewhere and consumed in Multnomah County. This inventory considers carbon emissions from the full lifecycle of goods and services, including production, transportation, wholesale and retail, use and disposal. Global carbon emissions as a result of local consumer demand are larger than the volume of emissions produced locally. The addition of the consumption-based inventory offers insight into a wider range of opportunities to reduce carbon.

Highlights of the proposed 2015 Climate Action Plan

  • The proposed plan calls for expanding active transportation options throughout Portland and ensure those infrastructure investments are resilient to the impacts of climate change. 
  • Given the strong momentum in Portland around home energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, the proposed plan calls for doubling solar installations and continuing home weatherization efforts.
  • With a newly adopted energy tracking and reporting policy, the City will work with building owners and managers to improve the energy performance of Portland’s largest 1,000 commercial buildings.
  • Recent changes to garbage and composting service have led to a 36 percent reduction in garbage headed to the landfill. Residential bills are flat or down three years in a row, while Portland’s recycling rate has reached 70 percent, one of the highest in the nation. The proposed plan focuses on boosting food scrap recovery and multifamily recycling to raise those numbers even higher.