Statement: Gov. Brown’s ambitious executive order is a key step in tackling climate change

For Immediate Release

SALEM, Ore. -- In response to a nearly two-week walkout by Oregon House and Senate Republicans, Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order today addressing climate change. Her action comes after the state’s short 2020 legislative session came to an abrupt end last week with the Oregon legislature unable to pass meaningful climate legislation.

The executive order sets a broad climate change-fighting framework. It includes putting a cap on climate pollution to lower greenhouse gas emissions to 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050; reducing climate pollution from cars and trucks by doubling the clean fuels program; accelerating the transition to renewable energy for utilities; and increasing energy efficiency requirements for new buildings and appliances. The full executive order can be found here

Celeste Meiffren-Swango, Environment Oregon’s state director, released the following statement in response:

“Oregon is making 2020 the year for bold, decisive action on climate.

“Our state is already feeling the effects of climate change in our daily lives. This includes record wildfires, ocean acidification, drought and algal blooms that threaten our cities’ and towns’ drinking water. 

“We have a moral responsibility to do everything we can -- as quickly as we can -- to leave a livable planet to our kids and grandkids. We need to stop using fossil fuels, shift to renewable energy, and reform the material economy that drives our society to consume past Earth’s carrying capacity. Oregon can and should play a key role in realizing this vision.

“Unfortunately, after years of debate and public process, progress on climate action has completely stalled in the Oregon legislature. We simply can’t afford to wait any longer. We need bold, decisive climate action now. 

“That’s why we are so thankful to see Gov. Brown using her executive authority to address climate change. The executive order she signed today will make Oregon a national leader in the fight against our changing climate.

“Thank you, Gov. Brown, for showing the kind of leadership deserving of this moment.”

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Environment Oregon is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.