In North Portland’s Key Delta Community center, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury announced an agenda for Portland to meet 100 percent of their energy needs with renewable energy by 2050.
“Getting our community to 100 percent renewable energy is a BIG goal,’’ said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “ And while it is absolutely ambitious, it is a goal that we share with Nike, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Google, GM, Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart. We have a responsibility to lead this effort in Oregon.’’
“This is a pledge to our children’s future,’’ said Chair Deborah Kafoury. “100 percent renewables means a future with cleaner air, a stable climate and more jobs and economic opportunity.’’
Portland is joining 25 other U.S. cities that have made the 100 percent pledge. In Salt Lake City and San Diego plan to ease off of coal and natural gas by 2032.
The Portland Building, which holds more that 1,000 city employees, is being renovated to meet LEED Gold status and reduce their energy use by 20 percent. The Multnomah County Courthouse and Health Department, which is now under construction, will also be LEED Golf certified and will by operating with 40 to 50 percent less energy use than similar facilities.
The city developed the 2017-2018 Climate Agenda after nearly a year of community engagement and input. The made summarized this input into 16 points. The first seven include:
- A goal to meet all Portland and Multnomah County community-wide energy needs with 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2050. All electricity from renewable sources by 2035.
- Equitably implement the actions in the Climate Action Plan.
- Support the growth of Portland-area firms that produce and deliver low-carbon.
- Prioritize minimizing risk for communities most vulnerable to climate change impacts.
- Work with utilities to accelerate the transition to zero-carbon electricity and minimize dependence on fossil fuels.
- Establish clean diesel contracting to ensure that equipment used on publicly funded projects reduces black carbon.
- Urge the state of Oregon to strengthen its energy code to target net-zero energy buildings by 2030
City officials are soon to add five more renewable projects at city facilities, such as solar projects at some police and fire headquarters.