The CFEC requirements work to tackle two big problems for cities in Oregon – the need to significantly reduce Oregon’s carbon footprint, while also tackling a severe housing crisis.
In 2007, Oregon legislators adopted a policy to reduce Oregon’s climate pollution by 75% from 1990 levels by 2050. That’s what the science calls for to avoid catastrophic impacts to the environment, communities, and economy. Fifteen years later, Oregon is far off track in efforts to meet those goals – and already experiencing real-world impacts of climate disruption.
CFEC is just one strategy to advance both our climate action and housing production goals. Eugene’s approach to climate action is guided by the 2014 Climate Recovery Ordinance and 2020 Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0. The CAP 2.0 includes strategies to reduce emissions through 1) Transportation, 2) Building Energy, and 3) Fugitive Emissions. CFEC supports many of the CAP 2.0 actions to reduce the 54% of local emissions that stem from transportation-related sources.
Oregon is particularly off-track in reducing pollution from transportation. On the current path, Oregon will only reduce transportation pollution by about 20% by 2050. In response, Governor Brown directed state agencies to promote cleaner vehicles, cleaner fuels, and less driving. If current trends continue, Oregon will release more than four times more transportation pollution than our goal by 2050. Stemming from Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-04, CFEC primarily focuses on reducing transportation-related emissions.
CFEC does include some strategies to increase the use of renewable energies and increase the local street tree canopy, specifically within Parking Reform. By Dec. 31, 2023, new developments with more than 1/4 acre of surface parking will require either installation of solar panels or tree canopy covering at least 50% of the parking lot. Additionally, the Eugene City Council will need to select one of three options for city-wide parking reform. If the City retains some minimum off-street parking requirements, the State requires that Eugene provide the option of reducing those minimum parking requirements by providing solar or wind capacity within new development.
Outside of CFEC, Eugene City Council directed staff to advance an effort on building decarbonization, the second group of actions listed in the CAP 2.0. Renewable energy technologies are a main pillar of decarbonization and are expected to play a role in Eugene’s decarbonization efforts. Outreach and engagement on the decarbonization work will begin later this year. The City’s webpage provides more information on sustainability efforts and the CAP 2.0.