Portland, count, release draft of 2015 Climate Action Plan

Proposal calls for carbon emissions to be cut 80 percent by 2050.

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Officials from Portland and Multnomah County released Tuesday a draft of the 2015 County Climate Action Plan, which calls for an 80 percent cut to carbon emissions by 2050.

The Portland Tribune published an examination of the plan that is being released for public comment before the city council and county board of commissioners vote on it.

The updated draft plan addresses the need to adapt to climate change, a recognition that some climate disruption already has occurred. That means we must plan for more heat waves in the summer, colder spells in the winter, more forest fires, a dwindling snowpack and more floods and landslides.

“We need to reduce the severity of those impacts” while we adjust to those already occurring, says Tim Lynch, a senior policy analyst for the Multnomah County Office of Sustainability.

The Portland Business Journal’s Wendy Culverwell notes language in the draft that aims to ensure green areas are accessible to the county’s poorest residents:

Social equity has been mentioned in past documents, but takes center stage in the latest edition. City and county officials will review the plan with interested groups and will conduct two public open houses to cover key features. The deadline to comment on the draft is April 10.

The final plan will help guide public policy and, ideally, help create policies that support businesses that are helping the region cut its greenhouse gas emissions, including food vendors, car-share operators and others.

The Portland Tribune notes in a different report that the plan would limit most oil or coal export projects from winning permits in the area.

The draft Climate Action Plan update calls for both government agencies to adopt a formal policy on fossil fuel exports. That could eventually lead to a city and county policy on exports other than coal and oil, such as natural gas and propane.

“We’ll continue to see these as an issue, because Multnomah County is a chokepoint for fossil fuel exports,” said Tim Lynch, a senior policy analyst in the county’s Office of Sustainability. “For the communities in the (Columbia River) Gorge, this is going to continue to be an issue,” he said, because of existing or proposed use of barges on the Columbia River or rail lines alongside the river for coal, oil and propane shipments.

 Open houses to submit a comment on the plan:

  • March 19 — 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Velo Cult Bike Shop at 1969 N.E. 42nd Ave.
  • March 24 — 5:30-7:30 p.m.: June Key Delta Community College at 5940 N. Albina St.

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