ONLINE OPEN HOUSE: 06/21/2021 - 07/31/2021
Lane County is developing a comprehensive county-wide Climate Action Plan that will outline goals and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare our community for climate change.
In order for this plan to represent the needs and concerns of Lane County residents, the County is conducting a robust public engagement process. Lane County began this engagement process in September 2020 by conducting a survey to understand how residents want to learn about and participate in the development of the Climate Action Plan as well as their initial priorities for the plan. Keep reading to learn more about the key takeaways.
We are already observing changes to Oregon’s climate, including hotter temperatures, drought, wildfire smoke, ocean acidification, and decreased mountain snowpack. Climate change is caused by increased pollution in the air that traps heat in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the primary pollutant responsible for climate change and is released due to human activity, such as burning of oil, fuel, and natural gas; most electricity generation; and production of food and goods. Understanding the areas of greatest risk gives us the opportunity to act and evolve our economies and social structures.
What’s happening now?
We are currently focusing on collecting feedback from stakeholders on a high-level, draft climate action plan framework. The draft framework outlines strategies for emissions reductions that may be included in the final plan. This draft framework is based on technical analysis, best practices from other communities, and residents’ priorities identified in the initial September 2020 survey.
Lane County wants to hear your ideas about the draft plan framework using this online survey tool, which is open from June 21 through July. Please read through this open house and share your ideas in the survey portion.
Using the feedback from the public engagement period, best practices, and the results of technical analysis, Lane County will present a Climate Action Plan that is responsive to the needs and goals of the Lane County community.
Climate Action Plan
In February 2020 the Lane County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution addressing the climate crisis. The resolution includes a three phase approach
- develop an Internal Operations Climate Action Plan (completed, October 2020),
- a county-wide greenhouse gas reduction plan, and
- a county-wide climate adaption and resilience plan.
This portion of the county-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP) will be a document that Lane County will use to help our community prioritize greenhouse gas emissions reduction actions for businesses, organizations and households in the county. This plan will define goals, strategies, and actions that we can all take to address reducing our emissions and addressing climate change in our region. After completing the mitigation plan, Lane County will begin working on the adaption and resilience plan.
The first step in developing the CAP was to conduct a community survey to determine the priorities and concerns about Lane County residents. The results of that survey can be found here. Then staff conducted a county-wide greenhouse gas inventory to determine the source of emissions. Since then the county staff has been working with contractors to do a technical analysis and studying other communities to determine the best value, high-impact practices.
Visit the project website for more information on what we heard last summer and fall.
Now Lane County wants your feedback on the Draft Framework. This framework focuses on three priorities: transportation, energy used in buildings and renewables, and consumption (the stuff we buy and use).
Transportation accounts for 66% of Lane County’s local emissions and is broken down roughly 50%-50% gasoline and diesel. Lane County has two major north-south freight routes, Interstate 5 and Highway 101, and two major east-west connectors, Highway 126 and Highway 58. These routes, including heavy duty freight movement, along with the local roads are the primary drivers of Lane County greenhouse gas emissions. Any plan to reduce emissions will have to lead with the transportation sector.
High Impact Practices
The actions below have been identified as best practices in reducing transportation sector emissions:
- Electric Vehicle adoption
- Expanded biodiesel and renewable diesel supply
- Active transportation, mass transit and telecommuting
- Encourage utilities and cities to continue to support electrification of transportation through the use of incentives and waiving of fees for charging infrastructure.
- Educate fleet-owners about biodiesel and renewable diesel and encourage cooperative bulk buying.
- Lane County will continue to support Lane Transit District in their efforts to increase ridership and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy used in buildings/renewable energy production
The next largest component of county-wide greenhouse gas emissions come from the energy used to heat, cool, and run appliances within buildings. Twenty-one percent of Lane County emissions come primarily from either electricity or natural gas consumption.
High Impact Practices
The actions below have been identified as best practices in reducing building sector emissions:
- Building electrification for space heating and cooling, and water heating
- Energy efficiency and conservation
- Utility scale renewables and time of use pricing
- Help connect cities with utilities to promote utility scale renewables in their community.
- Support efforts to encourage the use of Ductless heat pumps for heating and air conditioning and heat pump water heaters as a replacement for older, less efficient water heating systems.
- Support the electrical utilities and cities in their efforts to increase the energy efficiency of rentals and homes, particularly those with low-income residents.
Consumption – stuff we buy and use
Locally produced emissions are only part of the greenhouse gas equation. The stuff that we buy and use every day, from local roadways, to cell phones, clothes, furniture, and food all come with their own “upstream” or embodied carbon emissions. It takes energy to extract raw materials, produce and transport materials and goods, and sell them in stores. These consumption-based emissions account for approximately 45% of Lane County’s overall emissions.
High Impact Practices
The actions below have been identified as best practices in reducing emissions from consumption:
- Food waste reduction/Avoided Food Waste
- Repairing durable goods
- Anaerobic Digestion system at Short Mountain landfill
- Mass timber to replace concrete and steel
- Improved livestock management
- Refrigerant management
- Teach people how to avoid commonly wasted foods.
- Encourage other cities to follow the City of Eugene’s lead in collecting inedible wasted food or food waste (such as banana peels) at the curb to encourage proper diversion of food waste.
- Support local efforts to create value added materials from the restoration/resilience forestry work that is occurring in Lane County.
- Lane County will convene experts from the agricultural community to promote best practices in carbon reducing practice with raising livestock.
- Support the creation of a refrigerant management position at DEQ that coordinates statewide oversight of the refrigerant systems.
This phase of engagement will end at the end of July. We will be using the results of a technical analysis and the feedback that we hear in this phase of engagement (online open house, virtual public meetings, and stakeholder interviews with members from historically marginalized communities) to write a full Climate Action Plan that is responsive to the needs and goals of the Lane County community.
- April – May 2021 – Technical stakeholder engagement
- June – August 2021 – Public engagement
- September 2021 – draft Climate Action Plan
- October 2021 – Final touchpoint to share the full plan with the public
- December 2021 –Board approval of the CAP
There will be five virtual public meetings available in late June through July that will focus on the following elements: transportation, energy used in buildings/renewable energy production, consumption – stuff we buy and use, coastal communities, and foothills communities.
Virtual Public Meeting Schedule
Date and Time
Meeting 1 – Transportation
June 30, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Meeting 2 – Energy Used in Buildings and Renewables
July 13, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Meeting 3 – Stuff we Buy and Use including food, agriculture, and forestry products
July 21, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Meeting 4 – Florence and Coast
July 27, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Meeting 5 – East County Foothills
July 29, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Sign up – use the sign-up form at the bottom of this website to receive email notifications to learn about the full plan later this year and to get other project updates.