Beaverton council approves climate action plan
Beaverton City Council has approved a plan that calls for 86 actions toward an eventual goal of net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases citywide by 2050.
The climate action plan was more than three years in the making before its approval Tuesday, Nov. 12. It sets an interim target of 50% fossil-fuel reductions by city operations by 2030.
"It is not a perfect plan," said Scott Keller, the city's senior program manager for sustainability and recycling, who did the bulk of work on the plan. "But it is a starting point."
Although the plan emerged from the 2016 update of the Community Vision Plan, Keller said its roots go back to 2006, when the city compiled its first inventory of greenhouse gases.
The plan focuses on five topics. Keller said in an online survey of more than 500 people who offered comments on the draft plan, most favored city attention on two sections: Consumption and materials management, and building and energy. Others are transportation, natural areas, and community well-being.
Keller said progress toward greenhouse-gas reductions hinges on city cooperation with other government agencies, businesses and utilities.
"The people of Beaverton are eager to show they want action," said Amy Johnson, a climate-change activist who helped organized the Sept. 20 Beaverton Climate Strike at City Hall.
No one opposed the plan.
"But it does not go far enough," said Adam Gretzinger, a former president of Arbor Station. "I hope it is not the end of the action."
He said he would have liked to have seen revenue-generating elements in the plan, though cities cannot impose fees on emissions; only the Oregon Legislature has that authority. He also said it's time to move from financial incentives to government mandates.
Reggie Frumkin said the city should begin to implement the plan.
"But tree preservation is not mentioned at all," said Frumkin, an environmental technician for the city of Portland. "Today, regulations are not doing enough to protect trees and the city is losing canopy at unsustainable levels."
Before the 4-0 vote, Councilor Marc San Soucie joined other councilors in praising the plan, and that the city should review it more frequently than suggested. But he also said the real test will come when people are faced with changing longstanding habits — though San Soucie noted that the public may be more willing to do so now.
For Beaverton city web page on climate action plan:
NOTE: Updates with Beaverton City Council comments and vote Tuesday, Nov. 12.
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