Planners from the regional government have been working to address a mandate from the Oregon Legislature to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It was unclear Friday if the EPA's proposed standards, if adopted nationwide, would move Metro closer to being able to address the state's mandates.
Category: climate change
But without more money to fund those plans, region might not make state's tailpipe emission reduction targets
Regional leaders were brought up to speed on Metro's tailpipe emissions reduction plan Wednesday, as staff working on the Climate Smart Communities project briefed the Metro Policy Advisory Committee.
The emissions study, in its second phase, is a look at how to address a state mandate to curb greenhouse gases from cars, pickups and SUVs in the Portland region. With improvements to fuel economy only partly closing the gap to the state mandate, planners are trying to figure out how to get people to drive less.
Staffers with the Climate Smart Communities program told councilors the new time frame will allow for more feedback from the region’s cities as Metro gets set to pick which greenhouse gas reduction efforts should be studied in detail. That study will continue until 2014.
Leaders from Metro are leaning on a mandate from state government to lend legitimacy to the Climate Smart Communities program, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by 70 percent per capita before 2035. But they'd like to do that by making it so people don't have to do as much driving, by improving access to jobs, stores and restaurants in the suburbs where driving is prevalent.
Three years after the Oregon Legislature told the Metro region to curb its per capita vehicle emissions, an effort to figure out how to curb those emissions is starting to make sense.
At no point has that been more clear than at Wednesday night's meeting of the Metro Policy Advisory Committee, where representatives of governments from around the Portland region asked specific questions about the project and how it would apply to their communities.
Metro councilors Kathryn Harrington and Carl Hosticka joined city councilors and planning commissioners from Beaverton and Tigard in a joint meeting Tuesday afternoon at the Beaverton Library, to talk about Metro's Climate Smart Communities project and other planning endeavors in Washington County.
Stay warm this season, but don't stay in too long. Enjoy birding with the experts at Mount Talbert Nature Park and get tips on building a natural refuge at Oxbow Regional Park. And don't miss the bus – the Magic School Bus, that is. Catch Ms. Frizzle and her students in a play about climate change this weekend.
Local policies designed to preserve farmland and make livable neighborhoods have made the Portland area well prepared to reduce emissions related to climate change, but more work will be needed to meet state targets and maintain the quality of life the region is striving for.
Metro planners are wrapping up the first phase of their study of the region's greenhouse gas emissions, focusing primarily on exhaust from cars and light trucks. The work was prompted by legislation at the state, which required the Portland region to reduce its per capita vehicle emissions by 20 percent by 2035.
To create jobs and save money, several European metropolitan areas are building public-private partnerships that create innovative clean energy solutions the Portland area can learn from, says Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder.