2030 Objective: Reduce carbon emissions from City operations 53 percent below FY 06–07 levels
Since 2006, the City of Portland has been tracking trends in carbon emissions from City operations. As of FY 14-15, emissions from City operations are 32 percent below FY 06-07 levels. The City is on track to achieve the goal of reducing emissions from City operations 53 percent below 2006 levels.
The overall decline in emissions is the result of state and regional policies, like Oregon's renewable portfolio standard, which have reduced the carbon intensity of the Pacific Northwest’s electricity grid.
The City has made significant investments in energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy generation since 2006. Onsite generation has increased five-fold during this time. These investments have significant impact on carbon emissions. As an example, the City's investment in LED street lighting conversions has contributed to an 11 percent decrease in energy use from street lighting since 2006.
City of Portland total carbon emissions
Percent change in carbon emissions from FY 06-07
Reducing carbon is one of the City's overarching sustainability objectives. The objectives for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and fleet vehicles are designed to keep the City's carbon emissions trend tracking downward. For example, investments in energy efficiency reduce the City's dependence on electricity and natural gas used to power and heat our facilities.
The City's investments in renewable energy directly reduce the amount of grid electricity that the City purchases through local utilities. Efforts to increase waste recovery, prevents waste from ending up in the landfill, where methane emissions result from the breakdown of carbon based solid waste.
As a greenhouse gas, methane is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The City's vehicle and equipment fleet contributes 23 percent of all emissions from City operations, therefore investments in more efficient vehicles, low carbon fuels, and fleet electrification have significant carbon reduction benefits.
Even water conservation has carbon reduction benefits as electricity is used to pump water from the groundwater aquifer, and pump stations across the City move wastewater to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. Small actions across all of the Environmental Performance Objectives add up to real reductions in carbon emissions.