danger
COVID-19 Risk Level for Multnomah County: Extreme Risk

Mayor Ted Wheeler reveals new action proposals for addressing climate change

Press release

Portland General Electric and TriMet join the City of Portland’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy

Published

Tim Becker, (503) 823-6784

timothy.Becker@portlandoregon.gov 

Building on the City of Portland’s proud legacy of bold climate action and pushing the city’s environmental agenda further, Mayor Ted Wheeler today announced new climate policy commitments designed to ensure that Portland is prioritizing climate in City operations. As both a national and global leader on climate action, the City of Portland is working to meet its emission reduction targets of 2030 and its 100% clean renewable energy, net-zero building and transportation goals. While the next climate action steps announced by Mayor Wheeler today are focused on City operations, the City is also working closely with regional partners, community organizations and youth leaders to develop a community-centered approach to climate action and will be bringing additional climate actions forward next year.

“A mayor cannot do this work alone. The City of Portland cannot do this work alone,” Mayor Wheeler said. “We would not be in a position to make these commitments without the leadership and work of so many environmental and environmental justice organizations, youth leaders, our utilities, our transportation partners, Portland businesses and our City bureaus.”

The new climate policy commitments the City of Portland will undertake are:

Climate Budget – Direct bureaus to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change in their upcoming budget proposals.

Words to Action – Ensure the City is walking its talk in several ways that include:

  • Implementing a ‘climate test’ to ensure major City decisions are integrating climate action by adopting an internal price on carbon.
  • Fully electrifying the City’s fleet of sedans.
  • Establishing a new policy to require the offset of carbon emissions from City-related air travel, and to design and implement a local carbon offset fund to see local carbon reduction benefits.
  • Improving the energy efficiency of City-owned and -managed buildings by exploring funding in next year’s budget to conduct energy efficiency audits of the City’s largest buildings.

Reduce Barriers – Reduce barriers to Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund projects and pave the way toward a net-zero carbon future.

Joining Mayor Wheeler to share their climate actions at today’s announcement were Portland General Electric President & CEO Maria Pope and TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey, regional partners working closely with the City of Portland to put the City on a path towards meeting its greenhouse gas emission goals in a just way. Both leaders joined Mayor Wheeler in October at the C40 Mayors Summit, where they launched new partnerships and generated creative solutions to address the climate crisis.

“Innovation and collaboration are at the forefront of creating an affordable and reliable clean energy future for all Oregonians,” said Maria Pope, president and CEO of Portland General Electric. “We are proud to partner with the City of Portland and TriMet in modeling the best of what public-private partnerships can deliver.”

“While transit itself reduces emissions by taking cars off the road, TriMet is launching new efforts to reduce our own carbon footprint,” said TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey. “We must act now to combat climate change, but we cannot do it alone. It requires partnerships with other public agencies, with private companies, and with individuals as together we can accomplish so much more.”

For details on TriMet’s eight action items, visit news.trimet.org.

The climate crisis demands continuing bold and serious action. Next year, the City of Portland will take further action around the Climate Emergency Declaration, helping center the City’s intent to work closely with communities and youth – those most impacted by climate change – to develop the next set of actions and solutions the City takes.

###