Local carbon emissions Portland has been working to address climate change for more than 25 years, with local emissions declining from their peak in 2000. Among other factors, these reductions are due to a combination of:
- Improved efficiency in buildings, appliances and vehicles.
- A shift to lower-carbon energy sources like wind, solar and biodiesel.
- More walking, biking and public transit.
- Reduced methane emissions from landfills and more composting and recycling.
In 2018, total carbon emissions in Multnomah County were 19% below 1990 levels. Since 1990, Portland has welcomed 39% more people and 36% more jobs while carbon emissions have fallen 42% per person.
This trajectory demonstrates that it is possible to achieve significant carbon emission reductions while growing the economy and population. However, local carbon reductions have plateaued as a result of this growth and requires bolder new actions and investments to drastically reduce emissions to net zero by 2050, the goal adopted by Portland’s Climate Emergency Declaration.
The United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report in October 2018 which projected that limiting warming to the 1.5°C target will require an unprecedented transformation of every sector of the global economy to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To achieve this, Portland must accelerate climate action to reduce local emissions by an additional 31% in the next 9 years, a daunting task.
Read the 2018 emissions summary:
Check your own emissions
Households and businesses can assess their own carbon emissions by using free online tools, like the Cool Climate Network’s calculators:
- Households - https://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/calculator
- Businesses - https://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/business-calculator