On March 10, 2020 in the Capital Building in Salem, Governor Kate Brown held true to her word and delivered the climate action that she promised would happen during this calendar year. Executive Order 20-04 is a direct response to the climate emergency impacting communities around Oregon every day. The order amounts to some of the strongest action on climate change and its impacts in the country.
Executive Order 20-04, the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP) will provide the foundation for a future all Oregonians need, and rural Oregonians are desperate for.
It will clean up our transportation by extending and strengthening Oregon’s successful Clean Fuels Program, which has been creating jobs and lowering pollution since it was passed four years ago. EO 20-04 will make our buildings and businesses more energy efficient by requiring that by 2030 new buildings in Oregon produce as much clean energy as they use. It will help create new jobs, while producing huge energy saving for businesses and homeowners throughout the state. This order will also hold large corporate polluters accountable and make them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions over time. EO 20-04 requires statewide emissions to reach 45% below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. With this new direction, we will be doing our part to address the climate crisis, while holding polluters accountable, and making sure our children have an environment they can thrive in. That means less climate pollution filling our children’s lungs and fewer summers choked off by smoky skies.
Throughout our history, Oregonians have always stepped up and led on environmental issues, while working to make sure that our communities remain strong. Governor Brown has continued that tradition with Executive Order 20-04. Her commitment to, and leadership on climate action has established a framework that will move all of Oregon into the 21st Century, and provides a pathway to a future that rural and urban Oregonians can thrive in.
Hogan M. Sherrow, Ph.D.