Gov. Brown’s leadership to reach international stage

Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler trumpeted West Coast leadership toward a clean-energy economy in front of a few dozen supporters and reporters Monday at Field Office, an energy-efficient office complex under construction in Northwest Portland, featuring solar power arrays and electric car charging stations.

Monday’s press conference centered on state and local leadership guiding Oregon toward more jobs by fostering renewable energy development, construction of buildings that generate enough electricity to power themselves, more access to electric vehicles and making our communities healthier.

The governor announced she plans to travel to Bonn, Germany later this month with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and California Gov. Jerry Brown for the United Nations’ annual conference on climate change, COP 23. According to the United Nation’s website, the conference aims to:

  • Governments working to increase climate action under the terms of the Paris Agreement and the UN Climate Change Convention
  • Showcasing, fostering and launching new and expanding global climate action initiatives by all actors with a view towards better coordination that aligns efforts in more efficient, effective and transformative ways.

“I will continue to work with leaders on the west coast, across the country, and frankly, around the world to address the challenge of climate change,” Gov. Brown said. “Oregon will continue to lead the way.”

Gov. Brown also signed a pair of executive orders that will direct state agencies to strategize in achieving the standardize construction of statewide “net-zero” buildings, a term that describes buildings that generate as much electricity as they consume. She also said state leaders should continue to adopt innovative policies that create jobs and protect the environment.

“Since the 1970s, Oregon has been on the forefront as a national leader,” she said. “I’m very proud of our history, which includes the nation’s first bottle bill and a precedent setting law to establish our land use planning system, but we cannot rest on our laurels.”

Governor Brown highlighted two more recent, successful laws in Oregon, the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act and the Clean Fuels Standard, as innovative policy that’s helping Oregon reduce climate pollution while attracting investment and jobs to the state. She said we must go further to stay at the forefront of leadership. She called on legislators to pass the Clean Energy Jobs bill, to cap and price pollution in our state and reinvest millions into the clean energy economy.

Mayor Wheeler said city officials have been working hard to increase access for electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure to keep them running. City officials plan to double the electric vehicle infrastructure, such as car charging stations, by the year 2020.

“No matter the person, nor his or her income, everyone deserves access to electric vehicles,” the mayor said. He later tweeted his excitement about Gov. Brown’s statewide goal to increase the number of registered electric vehicle registrations by 2030, Mayor Wheeler said on Twitter.

He added, “That’s 34,000 more EVs in 3 years!”

Oregon Sen. Michael Dembrow, Rep. Ken Helm, Sen. Lee Beyer, Rep. Phil Barnhart, Rep. Andrea Salinas, and Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran also attended the conference. Dembrow and Helm are primary sponsors to SB 1070, known as the Clean Energy Jobs bill.

Twitter captured some great images from today’s event. Let’s all amplify these images and voices of support. Feel free to share on your own social media channels.

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