December 08, 2022

Decarbonizing Oregon’s Economy

The Green Energy Institute publishes a policy roadmap for Oregon that enables the state to achieve its climate goals.

While Oregon has made significant progress, the state is not on track to achieve its climate targets.

The Green Energy Institute (GEI) has developed an economy-wide climate policy roadmap for Oregon that identifies a suite of laws and policies that will enable the state to achieve its climate goals in an equitable and economical manner.

The policy pathway scenario proposed by GEI “can effectively, economically, and equitably decarbonize Oregon’s economy in alignment with the state’s 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals,” notes the executive summary of the document. The policy pathway “relies on a combination of existing, proposed, and new policy mechanisms that collectively can reduce Oregon’s emissions by more than 80% by 2050 and enable the state to meet its climate goals.”

In developing this decarbonization pathway, GEI prioritized policies that 1) reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 2) rely on proven and available technologies and fuel sources; 3) incorporate ambitious yet achievable implementation timelines; 4) maximize ambition while balancing equity and economic considerations; and 5) are legally defensible under existing state authorities. Acting together, the policy mechanisms in GEI’s decarbonization pathway would enable Oregon to achieve its climate goals while also creating substantial cost savings over Oregon’s business-as-usual baseline and providing meaningful social and public health benefits.

Drafted by Amy Schlusser and Caroline Cilek, the report “is intended to reflect a balanced climate policy approach that is ambitious, cost-effective, equitable, and achievable.”

The full suite of policies included in GEI’s decarbonization policy pathway can be explored within the Energy Policy Solutions model, in the Energy Innovation website. The link will launch the Oregon EPS and download the GEI pathway.