Climate Emergency Dashboard
Adopted goals include:
- 50% carbon emissions reductions over 1990 baseline by 2030 (CED)
- 100% renewable electricity by 2030 (CED)
- Net zero carbon emissions by 2050 (CED)
- 100% renewable energy from all sources by 2050 (100% Renewable Energy)
- 2% community ownership of renewable energy generation assets by 2030 and 10% by 2050 (100% Renewable Energy.)
Progress has been made in many areas. However, with only 6.5 years until 2030, there is much more action needed to get help Portland reach climate emergency goals.
Carbon emissions and trends
Portland has been working to address climate change for nearly 30 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 biofuels.
- Land use planning for healthy, connected neighborhoods that enable more walking, biking and public transit.
- Reduced methane emissions from landfills and more composting and recycling.
In 2021, total carbon emissions in Multnomah County were 21% below 1990 levels. This is a 4.8% increase over the historic low point that resulted from the first year of the COVID-19 Pandemic. These reductions have been achieved despite the fact that Portland welcomed nearly 40% more people and added 28% more jobs since 1990.
Emission increases from 2020 pandemic levels were less than expected by BPS climate analysts. Residential and commercial sector emissions increased only 1% and 2% respectively. This was largely the result of more use of residential propane and fuel oil and increased economic activity in the commercial sector increasing natural gas, kerosene, and propane. Industrial sector emissions increased 6% from the first year of the pandemic, reflecting increased use of natural gas, fuel oil, and residual fuel oil. In addition, transportation sector emissions increased 8% from 2020 levels, largely the result of higher gasoline sales. Metro preliminary data on daily vehicle miles traveled per person showed at 13% increase from 2020.
Emissions by sector
As shown in the image below, the breakdown of carbon emissions by sector in Multnomah County in 2021:
- Transportation – 44%
- Commercial buildings – 21%
- Residential buildings – 17%
- Industrial use – 12%
- Fugitive emissions – 4%
- Landfilled waste – 2%
Emissions by sector shifted in 2021 due to changes in data inputs that increase the accuracy of the inventory. Oregon released a new methodology for the historic fugitive emissions, increasing those estimates. In addition, the Energy Information Administration changed the methodology for annual estimates of transportation sector diesel and propane consumption in Oregon, increasing transportation sector emissions.
Multnomah County carbon emissions peaked in 2000. This chart compares sectoral emissions from the 2000 peak level to current carbon emissions. While most sectors have declined, transportation sector emissions continue to increase to 3% over 2000 levels.
Emissions by source
As shown in the diagram above, the largest sources of carbon emissions in Multnomah County in 2021 were:
- Electricity – 24%
- Gasoline – 24%
- Natural gas – 19%
- Diesel – 187%
Additional sources include propane (4%) fuel oil (4%), fugitive emissions (4%), landfilled solid waste (2%), and commercial and industrial motor gasoline (1%).
Electricity generation sources
As shown in the chart above, the sources for electricity generation in Multnomah County for PGE and Pacific Power in 2020 were:
- Natural gas – 35%
- Coal – 30%
- Hydro – 22%
- Wind – 10%
- Solar - 2%
- Other* – 1%
*Other sources include biomass, nuclear, solar, biogas, waste, other biogenic, petroleum, and geothermal.
Source: Oregon Department of Energy Oregon Electricity Use Resource Mix for PGE and Pacific Power, including market and Bonneville Power Administration purchases, weighted average based on utility sales calculated by Portland BPS.
Carbon emissions and trends reports
Portland has been working to address climate change for more than 30 years, with local emissions declining from their peak in 2000.
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: