Climate Action Plan for Salem

Aerial view of downtown Salem

We invite you to review the Final Draft of the Salem Climate Action Plan and email your comments to us at [email protected]. The plan is the result of a year-long process involving many stakeholders across the Salem community. Links to the plan and other important links are provided as follows.

The City’s draft Climate Action Plan provides a roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a resilient community while also considering equity in all strategies. The Climate Action Plan also provides greenhouse gas (GHG) forecasts to assess actions needed to reach the Council-set goals of reducing GHG emissions 50 percent from 2016 levels by 2035 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Implementation of the plan will occur over many years and begins once the Salem City Council approves the plan and determines initial implementation steps.  

The final draft includes minor changes from the preliminary draft published in October. Some changes are based on public comment, some are editorial, and some are due to new information (such as the GHG Forecasts in Chapter 7, which were revised with new data from NW Natural). We have prepared a summary of changes  that occurred between versions. The Preliminary Public Review Draft of the Salem Climate Action Plan can be found on the project’s website at the following address:

Due to the number of public comments received so far and the newly updated version of the plan, it has been decided that more time is needed for both the Salem City Council and the community to review the plan and provide additional comments. Therefore, the public comment period remains open and there will be an informational report provided at the December 6 council meeting. The staff report for the December 6 meeting will include recommended strategies for early implementation. There will not be a public hearing about the climate action plan on December 6.

We are keeping the comment period open until the plan goes to Council for approval (date to be determined). If you would like to provide public comment, please email [email protected]. Comments can also be mailed to Salem Climate Action Plan Comments, 555 Liberty St SE, Suite 325, Salem, Oregon, 97301-3515.

If you have trouble accessing/reading the draft Climate Action Plan PDF, please contact us at [email protected].

Climate Action Plan Task Force
A task force is guiding the development of the Climate Action Plan. It consists of a cross section of community and organizational stakeholders representing sectors such as education, business, vulnerable populations, insurance, emergency preparedness, public health, transportation, energy, environment, land use, and three city councilors.

The community has been invited and informed throughout the planning process through online activities, public presentations, community events, radio interviews, public service announcements, and social media posts. 

A consultant team led by Verdis Group is providing technical expertise.

Staff advisors
City staff is providing the consultant team advice and sharing knowledge about the City and the Salem community.


What is the Climate Action Plan?
The Salem Climate Action Plan will be a strategic plan to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. The plan will be co-created with the Salem community and organizational partners and will help guide municipal and local work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for and adjust to the current and future impacts of climate change.

Why is the City doing this project?
City Council called for the preparation of a climate action plan as part of their 2019 Policy Agenda. The City Council's decision follows a recommendation from the 2017 Strategic Plan.

Is the City coordinating this project with Our Salem?
The Salem Climate Action Planning Process has been closely coordinated with Our Salem, the City's ongoing project to update the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan, as climate action strategies are likely to achieve multiple and overlapping community goals. Below are some of the ways the two projects will intertwine.

  • Timing: The timelines for the Our Salem project and Climate Action Plan project have been aligned to ensure the two projects can inform each other.

  • Staff: The same staff are working on both projects to ensure continuity. For example, the project manager for the Our Salem project is serving on the Climate Action Plan task force.

  • Goals: The draft vision for the Our Salem project includes goals related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The goals have been updated to reflect City Council’s recent vote to set specific GHG reduction goals for the Climate Action Plan.

  • Policies: Staff leading both projects have worked together to identify potential policies related to climate change that can be included in the Our Salem project.

What climate actions has the City completed so far?
In 2019, the City conducted a comprehensive Climate Actions Audit to identify completed actions, ongoing practices, and adopted plans that address climate change. Much of the City work has been incorporated into routine maintenance and operating practices, constructed as capital improvement projects, integrated into City plans, or incorporated in the Salem Revised Code. Also in 2019, the City completed a Greenhouse Gas Inventory. This report provides a clear picture of where emissions in Salem come from as well as establishes a baseline from which to measure future reductions. In 2020, the City joined ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, which is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Membership provides the City with numerous tools and resources to assist in setting greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and tracking progress.

​Related resources

Contact us

Patricia FarrellParks and Natural Resources Planning ManagerPublic Works Department
555 Liberty ST SE, RM 325
Salem, OR 97301
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