The City of Portland, Oregon, and Multnomah County have locked in a commitment to obtaining 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035 as the latest #CommitTo100 city to join the pledge.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune shared on his blog that the commitment by Portland represents a major milestone because of its holistic approach:
“Once approved by the city and county commissioners, the plan will make Portland the largest city in the country to commit to transition all energy sectors to 100 percent clean energy.”
The commitment of the City of Portland and Multnomah County to taking on the challenge of shifting energy generation to renewable sources serves as a stake in the sand for the Pacific Northwest, which was an empty desert in the map of communities committed to moving to 100% renewable electricity/energy that we featured earlier this month.
While top-level commitments to moving to 100% renewable energy generation represent major steps towards that goal, it will require an engaged community to course correct the entire electricity generation system.
City of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called the community into action in his statement on the commitment: “we don’t succeed addressing climate change by government action alone. We need our whole community: government, businesses, organizations and households to work together to make a just transition to a 100 percent renewable future.” He went on to note that he is fully aware of how challenging it will be: “Getting our community to 100 percent renewable energy is a big goal.”
The city broke it goals out into milestones along the greater journey of moving to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
- Phase out coal by 2032
- Phase out natural gas by 2035
- 100% renewable electricity generation by 2035
- 100% renewable energy by 2050
Oregon Live quoted Dave Robertson, vice president of Public Policy and Corporate Resiliency at Portland General Electric, chiming in to confirm PGE support of the plan.
“If our resource strategy is approved by regulators, we will add significant amounts of renewable energy to surpass our 2025 renewable energy target more than five years early and at a reduced cost to our customers. The addition of these new renewable resources, combined with our existing wind, solar and hydroelectric facilities, will enable PGE to generate more than 50 percent of our energy from carbon-free sources by 2020.”
The commitment to securing 100% of its energy from renewable sources is a massive milestone for the city of Portland and truly sets the bar for other cities pursuing milestones of their own. The push to mitigate climate change is nothing new to the City of Portland, which was the first US city to adopt a carbon reduction strategy way back before it was cool in 1993.