Salem Climate Action Plan

Salem recently began the process of developing a Climate Action Plan. The City Council set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2050, with a second goal of being halfway there by 2035.

This was the culmination of nearly four years of effort by 350 Salem OR. It was an uphill fight back then with a conservative City Council, but we persisted. The City Council has changed dramatically since then. A task force is leading the effort, which concludes December 2021. Our 350 Salem OR representative, Janet Lorenzen, serves on the task force.

We believe Salem’s climate action strategies should be designed so that they undo historic patterns of disinvestment in Salem’s low-income neighborhoods by prioritizing public spending in those areas.

Salem should also prioritize strategies likely to meaningfully reduce emissions within the next 3-5 years. We asked the task force to look at aggressive strategies of vehicle electrification, encouraging more biking, walking and transit use, and more use of clean energy to power residences and businesses.

Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-04 committed Oregon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. In June the City of Portland set a goal to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions before 2050. The cities of Eugene, Corvallis, Bend, Ashland and Milwaukie have also set similar goals.