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Climate Action

  • From extreme weather to air quality, climate change impacts Gresham’s residents, our economy, and the natural environment. Together, we can reduce pollution and improve community health.  

  • Climate action plan

    A community effort 

    In 2022, we’ll work with residents, community groups and businesses to prioritize goals and everyday actions we can do as a community to prepare for climate change. 

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    • Project Background
    • Six Focus Areas
    • Resources
    Project Background

    The City signed the US Mayor’s Protection Agreement in 2007. Gresham joined 1,000 cities across the nation in pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. 

    Greenhouse gases are released into the air mostly by human activities. An increase in greenhouse gases traps heat, making the planet warmer. Trapped heat affects the severity of storms, wildfires and drought conditions.

    City milestones

    • 2007 - Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement​.
    • 2009 - City Council adopted Sustainability Policy.​
    • 2011 - Internal operations and facilities sustainability plan​.
    • 2015 - Net Zero wastewater treatment plant.
    • 2016 - LED street and park light conversion.​
    • 2018 - Updated City greenhouse gas inventory.
    • 2018 - Expanded Green Business Program.
    • 2019 - Solar assessments completed.
    • 2021 - Community solar at City fire stations​.
    • 2021 - Council Work Plan – Climate Action​.

    Next steps

    • 2021 - Community-wide greenhouse gas inventory.
    • 2022 - Community outreach, education and community feedback. 
    • 2022 - Present a Climate Action Plan for City Council adoption.
    Six Focus Areas

    The plan includes six core focus areas where the City and community will work together.  

    Buildings and energy  

    Our goal is to help make homes and businesses more efficient. In Multnomah County, over 60% of emissions come from electricity and fossil fuels used in homes, commercial buildings, and industrial processes. 


    Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Gresham. To reduce emissions the City promotes alternative transportation: 

    • More bike- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and planning. 
    • Incentives for businesses that reduce car trips. 
    • Planning that includes dense, urban centers designed around walking rather than driving. 
    • New ways to incentivize electric vehicles and charging stations in the private sector. 

    Solid waste and consumption  

    We produce, use, and throw away materials every day. Consumer items such as food, household items or building material impact the air, water, and land around us.  

    Urban forests and natural areas 

    A warmer climate effects the health of trees, streams, and water resources. In recent years, Gresham has experienced more severe storms causing flooding, tree damage and wildfires. Protecting our water resources and reducing our footprint on the environment is critical.  

    Climate change preparation 

    While climate change affects everyone, its impacts are not equally shared. Simply put, the poorest and most vulnerable are the hardest hit. Therefore, the work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must address economic and social inequities.

    Community outreach 

    We will be coming to the community – households, businesses, and organizations – to talk about where we can collectively reduce emissions. 

    This work assesses actions for their impacts and benefits, such as improved local air quality, preservation of housing affordability, and increased access to transportation and resources. The City will continue to incorporate equity in its climate policies and programs to achieve more environmentally and economically just outcomes for all community members.

    • Wastewater gallery - Net Zero solar panels
    • Wastewater gallery - Net Zero FOG system
    • LED Streetlight

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    • In 2009 a solar array was installed at the wastewater treatment plant, generating 8 percent of annual electricity use.

    • The City's wastewater treatment plant was the City's highest electricity user. Now it can generate more than 100 percent of its own electricity using solar panels, liquid organics processing and biogas cogeneration. This has saved ratepayers over $1million a year since 2012. 

    • The City's streetlight LED replacement project has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent and energy use by 70 percent. LED streetlights save Gresham $700,000 in electricity costs a year.