Climate change is a serious threat, and we know what we need to do
Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge of the 21st century. It poses a serious threat not just to Oregon’s natural treasures — forests, mountain snows and rivers — but also to our jobs and our health.
Climate change also presents huge opportunities. Vast amounts of money will be saved and made during the transition to a low-carbon community. Portland and Multnomah County are global leaders in that transition, and we have an unparalleled opportunity to make the switch in ways that create jobs and benefit all residents. Scientists expect that, should we fail to curb climate change, Oregonians may see more intense heat waves, droughts, rainstorms, floods, wildfires and landslides in the future. These impacts could drag down our economy, stress our natural resources and worsen inequities facing many Oregonians. Action is required at all levels, and local governments have a unique role to play in building low-carbon communities.
The good news is that the City of Portland and Multnomah County have a plan for action.
We’re on our way
We've already reduced carbon emissions by 15 percent since 1990, while our population has increased 38 percent and we have 34 percent more jobs. Collectively we have reduced per person emissions in Multnomah County by 38% since 1990. Despite our successes, our emission reduction efforts clearly need to rapidly accelerate.
We have established a strong foundation for continuing to reduce emissions that also benefits our economic, social and cultural lives. We can do this together. Each person, each business, each government agency has a part to play.