Clackamas County renews focus on climate change initiatives

From: Ellen Rogalin, Clackamas County Department of Transportation & Development, 503-742-4274

Media and Interested Parties

Clackamas County will begin developing and implementing a comprehensive and inclusive climate action plan in the coming year, in response to direction and strong support from the Board of County Commissioners at a work session in mid-October.

“Virtually all of the people in the actual climate science business that have not been captured by special interests have come to the conclusion that carbon dioxide, methane and other gasses of that nature are causing climate change,” said Board Vice-Chair Ken Humberston. 

“The United States military and the insurance companies, both, see climate change as the single greatest threat to our national security,” he added. “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Commissioners agreed that viable actions to make a difference should begin as soon as possible, in addition to developing a meaningful, practical Clackamas County Climate Action Plan to reduce the county’s operational and community-wide carbon footprint.

Commissioner Sonya Fischer said, “Platitudes are great, but we don’t want the plan to sit on the shelf. This is so significant – it’s important we all get the knowledge on this.”

In 2008, the board adopted an Action Plan for a Sustainable Clackamas County, and in 2017 the board adopted a resolution reaffirming their commitment to combatting climate change.

The action plan included a focus on climate change and a goal to become carbon neutral and to reduce county government emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

“This goal has since been supported by the data,” noted County Sustainability Manager Eben Polk. “It aligns with the latest assessment of climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which identifies carbon neutrality by 2050 as the key target to avoid the most catastrophic impact of climate change.”

A staff Climate Exchange Committee has already identified the relevance of climate issues to work throughout county departments and will proceed to develop a framework for a Climate Action Plan to discuss with the Board.

For more information, contact Community Relations Specialist Ellen Rogalin, ellenrog@clackamas.us or 503-742-4274.