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Green Energy Institute

GEI Releases Comprehensive Evaluation of Oregon’s Climate Policies

November 30, 2015

A new report by the Green Energy Institute evaluates Oregon’s efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions and concludes that the state’s current system for meeting its climate-related policy goals won’t succeed. Oregon has cultivated an image as a leader in addressing climate change. However, as GEI’s report shows, the reality is that Oregon’s climate change laws are inadequate to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the state’s climate goals.

The report, entitled Countdown to 2050: Sharpening Oregon’s Climate Action Tools, warns that current voluntary efforts alone will not enable Oregon to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. These findings are supported by the Oregon Global Warming Commission’s recent 2015 Report to the Legislature, which indicated that Oregon will exceed its 2020 and 2035 interim climate goals by 11 million metric tons and 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions, respectively.

The Countdown to 2050 report emphasizes that Oregon can and must take action to close the gap between the state’s business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions forecast and its 2050 climate goal. To accomplish this objective, the report strongly recommends that Oregon adopt a comprehensive climate policy framework that includes binding emissions limitations for the energy, industrial, transportation, and land use sectors. The report further recommends that Oregon restructure the Oregon Global Warming Commission and provide it with sufficient funding and regulatory authority to effectively administer the state’s climate policy framework.

In addition to its recommendations, the report provides a comprehensive summary of Oregon’s laws and policies that address climate change. The report is designed to provide a guide for policymakers and activists who want to understand where Oregon has been and where it should go when addressing climate change at the state level.