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Dec 08

City of Eugene Releases 2019 GHG Inventories

Posted to Climate Connection by Samantha Roberts

EugenePanorama

Seasons Greetings Eugenians,

Your City has been hard at work since the approval of the Climate Action Plan 2.0 in July of this summer. Today we are  highlighting the City’s newest Internal Operations and Community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories, recent “A” score from the Carbon Disclosure Project, and details about tomorrow’s update to City Council at 12 PM. Scroll below for more information.

2019 GHG Inventories release
The City of Eugene released its 2019 Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Inventories today! GHG Inventories are conducted every other year for both City operations and community-wide emissions to meet reporting requirements in Eugene’s Climate Recovery Ordinance (CRO). The inventories measure both GHG emissions and fossil-fuel use.

Community-wide emissions increased slightly in 2019 compared to 2017, totaling just over 1 million metric tons CO2 equivalent (MTCO2e).  The increase stems primarily from increases in residential energy consumption and the transportation sector. Commercial and industrial energy consumption decreased during the same time period.

City of Eugene operational emissions increased in 2019 to just over 6,000 MTCO2e, an increase of about 24 percent. We found that the largest increase from 2017 was from fleet diesel consumption by 764 MT CO2e – this was due to renewable diesel market instability and the additional cost of over $1 per gallon of fuel, causing fleet to buy diesel blends with lower percentages of renewable fuel. Thankfully, the market has since stabilized, and Fleet has returned to using R99 fuel, a fuel blend made of 99% renewable fuel sources. 

Another change within operational emissions was an increase in natural gas emissions due to changing needs and maintenance at public facilities including the Airport, community pools, Downtown Library, and the Hult Center. The primary drivers of this were increased services to residents and some mechanical issues, which have been addressed.

City of Eugene receives “A” score from CDP
In related news, the City of Eugene received an ‘A’ score from the Carbon Disclosure Project, a global reporting agency which scores municipalities’ submissions based on their efforts to reduce emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. The City was one of 88 cities globally and 1 of 25 US cities to receive an A score, reflecting the City’s comprehensive efforts towards reducing GHG emissions as well as plans to equitably build resiliency within our community.

“We know that even while we work to protect lives from COVID-19 that environmental action cannot slow down”, says Mayor Vinis. “Both people and planet must be prioritized, and we are actively taking steps to do just that through our reporting efforts and the more than 115 actions identified in the CAP2.0.”

Sustainability update to City Council Wednesday, December 9th
At the Wednesday,  December 9th,  12pm City Council Work Session, staff will provide an update on the 2019 GHG inventories, the CAP2.0, and on motions passed by Council related to the CAP2.0 in July 2020.

We hope you are faring the remaining days of 2020 well. We look forward to continuing this good work into 2021.

Very best,
Samantha Roberts
Climate Policy Analyst, AIC
Sustainability Program

Apr 09

April 9, 2021

Posted to Keeping in touch: Notes from the Mayor by Niyah Ross

This was a week of engagement mostly at a federal level.  There were no Council meetings – Council will be back from its spring break on Monday, the 12th.

I began on Monday with the opportunity to welcome the Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff, to a roundtable discussion about the impacts of the pandemic.  While this session was less in the headlines than his visit earlier in the day to Whitebird’s vaccine clinic at the WOW Hall, it was a powerful session. Mr. Emhoff heard and responded to testimony from two Oregon Legal Aid clients, one of whom sought legal help to access unemployment benefits, and the other needed assistance to contest an eviction notice.  I was struck both by Mr. Emhoff’s careful attention and responsiveness, and his genuine commitment to communicating what he is hearing to the President and Vice President and translate those challenges into meaningful policy responses.  It filled me with hope.

On Thursday, I joined a roundtable on transit investments hosted by Congressman DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  This was an opportunity for Lane Transit District (LTD) to talk about their fleet transition to electric buses; for the Amalgamated Transit Workers union to talk about the impact of their jobs in supporting the community.  I spoke to our commitment to completing the transformation of Franklin Boulevard into a safe multi-modal transportation corridor, including not only bus rapid transit but safe routes for bicycling and walking.  The City is applying for a federal grant for this project now; and could also benefit from the Biden Administration’s jobs and infrastructure investments.

On Thursday, elected and staff representatives of Eugene, Springfield, Lane County, LTD, Springfield Public Schools and Willamalane met to review our series of “United Front” meetings beginning next week.  The United Front is a decades-long regional partnership that joins together annually to meet with both our elected federal delegation – Senators Wyden and Merkley, and Rep. DeFazio – and with federal agencies to explore policy and funding options that will benefit local projects.  Key priorities include transportation infrastructure, like Franklin Boulevard, investments in housing and homelessness, and economic recovery.  For the first time in my tenure as mayor, I feel hopeful that we’ll actually succeed in these requests because the Biden Administration’s priorities align with the work we are doing locally.

 And finally, on Friday, I attended the first of two days of the Environmental Justice Pathway Summit, convened by Beyond Toxics and the local chapter of the NAACP.  The opening session included three presentations about the City’s history of racism and exclusion. It is a history too few of us know or acknowledge and understanding the depth of our overt and implicit racist past is the only way we can build a path to a more equitable and welcoming community.  In the afternoon, I attended the keynote address by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, hosted by the University of Oregon’s Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples lecture. Ms. Watt-Cloutier was a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and author of a book titled “The Right to be Cold” about protecting the Arctic.  Her talk was inspiring and quotable, and I leave you with one memorable closing comment: “Things will change at the speed of empathy and trust.”


Apr 17

Hitting the Jackpot with Hall's Aster

Posted to Parks Pulse by Elissa Gavette

The hard work and patience of the Native Plant Nursery staff and volunteers has paid off, literally. A key plant for restoration sites, Hall's Aster plays an important role in providing late season nectar and pollen to bees. But propagating this precious plant doesn’t come easy, which is why it’s worth $1,000 a pound. This season, the Native Plant Nursery yielded 10 pounds, valued at $10,000!

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Oct 25

New Public Piano Downtown

Posted to What's Happening Downtown? by Sarah-Kate Sharkey

Light Up the World Public Piano
A new piece of playable art is on its way to downtown Eugene!

The donated piano will be painted on the first floor of the Atrium building and then installed in the Park Blocks for the Nov. 17 Light Up Downtown tree lighting event. The piano will be available for the public to play through mid-December.

Local artist David Placencia will use a unique bubble paint technique to transform the piano into a work of art. His theme is “Light Up the World: A New Time of Unity”, and his design features colorful ribbons spiraling from an oval Mayan calendar. The public is invited to watch him at work on the first floor of the Atrium building (10th and Olive) from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, 3, 6 and 13. Examples of Placencia’s past work can be seen at khaostasis.com.

The piano will be the City of Eugene's third piece of playable public art this year. The first two pianos, stationed this past summer outside the Downtown Public Library and the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, were extensively enjoyed by musicians and audiences. Both pianos currently reside in Eugene Rec community centers to delight patrons during the rainy months.

The playable art program gives musicians the opportunity to share their talents and the public the chance to enjoy live music in a non-traditional setting. The pianos also serve as temporary works of public art, painted and collaged by talented local artists chosen to bring more color to downtown’s core. Similar programs exist in many cities throughout the country. For information about the Portland program, visit pianopushplay.com.