A Nobel Peace Prize winner on climate change comes to Portland to help local leaders identify opportunities to reduce pollution and its impact on our climate. Dr. William Moomaw leads a workshop on Friday, April 2, hosted by the regional government Metro, to discuss how to cut down greenhouse gas emissions. Dr. Moomaw is a professor and founding director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Tufts University. He served as a lead member of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations sponsored group of scientists.
In addition to the workshop with Dr. Moomaw, Metro has just released the first comprehensive study of the region’s carbon footprint. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory shows Portland area residents created 31 million metric tons of emissions in 2006. That’s nearly 68 billion pounds of pollution.
In putting together the inventory, Metro planners used information from a recent Environmental Protection Agency report to compile a comprehensive view of emissions in the region. It found the main contributor is not coal fired plants and automobile emissions; it’s the consumption of materials, much of which is produced outside the area.
The inventory shows 48 percent of the total Portland-area pollution comes from extracting, manufacturing, shipping, recycling and disposing of products and food which are produced and grown both inside and outside the region. Residential and business energy consumption creates another 27 percent, with the final 25 percent coming from local transportation. To view the inventory go to www.oregonmetro.gov/climatechange.
“We need to highlight what consumers can do,” said David Bragdon, Metro council president. “This is an opportunity to show people that by making informed choices and changes in the items we buy and the way we get around, we can be part of the solution to climate change.”
Metro has been mandated by the Oregon legislature to develop long-range plans for meeting state climate pollution reduction goals for transportation and land use. At the workshop with Dr. Moomaw, members of the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation and the Metro Policy Advisory Committee will work to develop a common understanding of the science of climate change and the impacts of land use and transportation strategies. The groups will begin developing tools to forecast climate pollution as well as identify shared goals, expectations and policy options for reaching state requirements and achieving a healthy climate and region.
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