Per-person greenhouse gas emissions in the county are down 41 percent since 1990

COURTESY PHOTO - The introduction of Biketown, Portland's bike share program, is one of many gains made in the last two years that help meet the city/county Climate Action Plan. Carbon emissions in Multnomah County have fallen 41 percent on a per- capita basis since 1990, significantly outperforming national efforts to avert climate change, according to a new progress report on the city and county's joint Climate Action Plan.

The progress report, delivered Thursday to the Portland City Council, notes that carbon emissions have declined 21 percent overall in the county since 1990. (The city of Portland constitutes about 80 percent of the county, population-wise.)

"Even with this very good news, we should continue to be very, very humble, said Susan Anderson, director of the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. That's because the ultimate goal is to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050, to forestall dramatic global warming. "It is difficult," Anderson said in a presentation to the City Council, "but we believe it is very doable."

During the same period the county's carbon emissions fell 21 percent from 1990 levels, they are up nationally by 7 percent.

And the county's gains came despite a 33 percent increase in the number of people living here since 1990, and a 24 percent increase in the number of local jobs.

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