Climate change threatens our long-term health, prosperity and safety—in Clackamas County, in Oregon, and across the planet. Together, the Board of County Commissioners has called for action.
We’ve set our sights on being carbon neutral by 2050, which means reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to the point where we can capture as much as we emit. Meeting this goal globally gives us a chance to limit warming and avoid the worst impacts. Locally, a zero-emissions way of living and doing business can help us be healthier and more economically resilient.
We know this is a big goal. It means clean energy, less waste, and getting free from fossil fuels. To us, success starts with a plan that is meaningful, data-driven, transparent, includes the diverse members of our community.
A Timeline Of Climate Action By The Board
The Board of Commissioners has adopted several resolutions related to climate change in the past few years
|2018||Directed staff to develop an updated countywide climate action plan.|
|2017||Reaffirmed the county’s climate goals.|
|2008||Adopted the U.S Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration and a resolution on climate change.|
Countywide Actions We’re Taking to Combat Climate Change
- On May 28, 2020, the County posted a request for proposals (RFP) for a consultant to help develop the climate action plan! The RFP will be open through July 9 to allow consultants plenty of time to submit proposals. The scope of work was discussed at the January 15 Board of Commissioners policy session. If your business would like to submit a proposal for the RFP, or you would like to direct a business to the RFP, all official communication must go through the ORPIN (Oregon Procurement Information Network) website. The information is only available to registered businesses.
- Establishment of an interdepartmental climate plan group, called the Climate Exchange and housed in the county’s department of Transportation and Development.
- County operations greenhouse gas inventory
- First baseline community-wide greenhouse gas inventory Clackamas County | Oregon Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory for 2018, May 2020
- Identifying renewable energy procurement options for county operations
- Initiating a process for a low-carbon county fleet & EV charging
- Developing an update to the county’s green building policy
- Support for innovative mass timber construction
- Offering a climate change presentation for schools
- Expansion of commercial food scraps composting
- Hosting Repair Fairs for people to repair their broken appliances and tools instead of throwing them out
- Working with area libraries to create Libraries of Things, where community members can check out items like board games, tools and appliances instead of buying new.
- Providing support for rural broadband so less populated communities can stay connected without needing to drive
The Climate Exchange, an interdepartmental climate action group led through the Department of Transportation and Development, is working to hire a consultant to help the county develop the climate action plan. The intent is for a consultant to be on board by spring/summer 2020 and to have a plan developed by the end of 2021. The plan will include an analysis of ways to reduce the impacts of climate change through:
- building energy
- transportation and land use
- farm and forest land practices
- materials and waste
- economic development opportunities
- community resilience and adaptation
What You Can Do
Community members making climate-friendly decisions and engaging with each other are crucial to reducing the county’s carbon footprint.
Join us in this important work.
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Youth and Climate Change
In the fall of 2019, Rex Putnam High School students sent a letter to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners to share their recommendations for climate action in Clackamas County.
Since then, we have been asking students in the county to share their thoughts and concerns about climate change and climate action. Please add your voice. The first 25 students to submit an entry will receive a book about climate change of their choosing.
How to participate
- Please select one or more of the following questions:
- What is the role of government in responding to the climate change crisis?
- What types of climate action are you excited about?
- Why are you concerned about climate change?
- How does climate change influence your plans for your future?
- In 50 years, what do you hope to look back on? What story would you like to tell about how the world responded to climate change?
- Other (read a poem, show artwork, etc.)
- Record a video of you sharing your thoughts
- Post to Instagram with the hashtag #clackcoclimateaction and email a copy of your video to firstname.lastname@example.org
Clackamas County Priorities
Grow a vibrant economy
Climate change will impact every sector of the economy, and is already impacting many. Wildfires, reduced snowpack, increased vulnerability to pests, and increased summer temperatures have a direct impact on a variety of businesses. Policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will also have impacts on businesses. In order to grow a vibrant economy, the County must look forward to both the physical and policy impacts of climate change.
Build a strong infrastructure
Climate change makes it more important that infrastructure be energy efficient and built or retrofitted to withstand the amplified hazards and stresses of a changing climate.
Ensure safe, healthy, and secure communities
Climate change is one of the greatest threats humans have ever faced. It impacts our health in many ways, and can undermine the safety and security of our communities.
Honor, utilize, promote, and invest in our natural resources
Our natural resources are both at high risk from climate change, and provide some great opportunities for reducing greenhouse gases. By investing in our natural resources, they can be healthier and more resilient, while also protecting our community.
Build public trust through good government
The climate plan will, by necessity, involve virtually every department in the County. It will also directly engage the community to help address this challenge. This collaboration and problem solving are key to good governance and building trust.