Portland, OR Instates New Climate Emergency Workplan

The city council of Portland, OR has approved two climate-related initiatives: the Climate Emergency Workplan (CEW) and the Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments.

The Climate Emergency Workplan is the city’s new climate action plan which includes 43 actions and strategies to be prioritised for the next three years. The plan is expected to help the city reach 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and net zero by the year 2050.

These strategies and actions have the aim of: 

  • reducing carbon from the transportation, industry, and building sectors;
  • reducing carbon from the consumption of food, goods, and materials;
  • sequestering carbon in trees and green spaces; and
  • building the city’s resilience of the impacts of climate change, focusing on its most vulnerable community members.  

In support of the CEW, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is seeking to fill four climate analyst positions. The four (4) positions include: a general decarbonization analyst;  an electricity grid analyst; an internal cost of carbon analyst; and an embodied carbon analyst.

The Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments have the aim of reducing the risk of damage from a catastrophic earthquake by limiting the expansion of fossil fuel storage tank capacity in an area with high susceptibility to liquefaction. The amendments also designate existing terminals as limited use, which will allow them to continue operating while making safety upgrades  and investing in storage facilities for renewable fuels to help meet future needs.   

“The City acknowledges the role the terminals play in serving other businesses and the regional economy to sustain the movement of goods,” said Commissioner Carmen Rubio in her remarks. “The proposed ordinance will not decrease the availability of fuel to the region and beyond, but it will help limit the risk to Portlanders in the event of a major earthquake and support a transition to cleaner fuels.”