Governor Brown Signs Executive Order to Combat Climate Change in Oregon

Executive Order Reaffirms Oregon’s Commitment to Reducing Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Supporting the Expansion of a Clean Energy Economy

Governor Kate Brown has issued an Executive Order solidifying Oregon’s commitment to fight climate change, expand clean energy technologies (clean fuels program), and invest in the protection of youth and frontline communities. It comes after years of public demand for bold climate action, years of public hearings and input, and years of rallies across the state.

This remarkable climate action will expand the already successful Clean Fuels Program, create more energy efficient clean homes and offices, and set a cap to lower the pollution that is threatening our health and environment. This executive order updates and strengthens successful climate action already in our laws.  It will make Oregon more resilient against the impacts of climate change and move us toward a sustainable and prosperous future. 

“I want to thank Governor Kate Brown for listening to the thousands of voices calling for action on climate and using every tool at her disposal to protect the future of the next generation of Oregonians,” said Diana Nuñez, Executive Director at Oregon Environmental Council. “This is a bold response to an urgent need. Oregon is once again a leader taking action to reduce pollution, protect our health, and give our kids a livable future.”

A strong clean energy economy combats climate change while creating good jobs and a healthy environment. This action extends and strengthens Oregon’s successful Clean Fuels Program, which has been creating jobs and working for four years to lower pollution from fuels by making cleaner options available. The standard will lower pollution 25% by 2035.

 “This is one of the strongest actions any governor has taken,” said Jana Gastellum, Deputy Director for Programs at Oregon Environmental Council. “We applaud Governor Brown’s focus on the health and well-being of people harmed by climate change, including outdoor workers. Detractors will trot out the same tired talking points, but this is meaningful action that will protect people and improve quality of life in Oregon.”

Today’s action on climate will strengthen requirements for new buildings in Oregon so that by 2030 they’ll produce as much clean energy as they use, and maximize energy efficiency. There will be huge savings on energy bills as homes and buildings use energy more efficiently and waste less — using technologies we already use today.

Most importantly, while Oregon has targets for reducing climate pollution already in our law, they’re not being enforced. This new change updates the targets and makes lowering pollution mandatory for large polluters. Large polluters will be required to lower climate pollution levels 45% below 1990 levels by 2035, and at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

We’re taking historic and bold action in Oregon to reduce climate pollution, protect our air and water, and do our part as a state to respond to the climate emergency. We’re improving our transportation, businesses, and buildings to lower pollution over time with clean, renewable options that will save money and create jobs.

Read the full executive order

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