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Mayor Wheeler Publishes Draft Climate Emergency Declaration

Illustration of Earth with text overlay Climate Emergency Declaration
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Public feedback wanted on new commitments to meet the rising climate challenge.

In response to the increasing threat of climate change – and in consultation with Portland’s youth and frontline communities – Mayor Ted Wheeler released the first draft of a Climate Emergency Declaration on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

While Portland is a renowned climate action leader, the extreme weather events of the recent past in Oregon and around the world have made it clear that more action – and more intensive action – is required to ensure that we curb carbon emissions now.

In October 2019, Mayor Ted Wheeler directed the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to work with local groups, residents, City bureaus, and partner agencies to gather more feedback on what Portland should include in a climate emergency declaration. The resulting resolution is expected to be considered for adoption by City Council on Earth Day, April 22, 2020.

Read the draft declaration and Mayor Wheeler’s cover letter:

This declaration recognizes the leadership of frontline communities who bear the worst burden of climate change and sets a new trajectory for the future of the City’s climate action work.

The Draft Climate Emergency Declaration:

  • Advances climate justice; centers and focuses on frontline communities.
  • Supports partnerships with youth organizations to create a 2020 youth-led climate summit.
  • Creates a new governance structure with City, County and community to ensure we meet our 2030 carbon reduction goals.
  • Amends the City’s carbon reduction targets to at least 50% by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions before 2050. 

Community feedback wanted

We invite you to read the draft declaration language and send us your comments by March 16 at 5 p.m. Here’s how you can tell us what you think:

  1. Submit your comments, suggested edits and feedback through the online comment form. A summary of public comments will be posted online periodically for review.
  2. Call Amanda Watson, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler, at 503-823-3579, or Alisa Kane, Climate Action Manager, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, at 503-823-7082, with questions or to request a briefing at one of your community meetings (schedule permitting).
  3. Attend an open house at the next Fix-It Fair at Floyd Light Middle School on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 10800 SE Washington St., Portland. Staff will be available to answer questions and collect your feedback from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Fix-it-Fairs are free City of Portland events that connect community members with resources to save money and be healthy. They include exhibits, workshops, health tests, financial consulting, onsite repair, free lunch and childcare, and much more. Visit the Fix-it-Fair website for more information.

This Draft Climate Emergency Declaration is meant to articulate how the City of Portland will approach a worldwide climate emergency on the local level as well as the community-centered process we will undertake to develop the next set of actions to tackle climate change.

We hope you’ll join us in this effort.

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