After 15 months of work by a 33-member community task force and multiple rounds of community engagement, the
final draft of the Salem Climate Action Plan (CAP) has been released! The final draft includes minor changes from the preliminary draft published in October. Some changes are based on public comment, some are editorial in nature to provide additional clarity, and some are due to new information (such as the greenhouse gas forecasts in Chapter 7).
The CAP is our long-term guide to reducing Salem's greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. It focuses on meeting two Council-set goals: (1) by 2035, Salem's greenhouse emissions are reduced to 50% from the baseline year of 2016; and (2) by 2050, Salem should be carbon neutral. The plan also includes ways to address the climate change-related hazards already facing our community, such as the increased frequency of excessive heat days, droughts, and wildfires.
There will not be a public hearing about the climate action plan on December 6. The City received hundreds of comments on the preliminary plan released in October. Due to the number of public comments received and the newly updated version of the plan, we are providing more time for both the Salem City Council and the community to review and provide additional comments. Accordingly, the public comment period remains open and there will be an informational report provided at the December 6 council meeting.
Once the CAP is approved, City Council will need to direct staff to implement specific strategies in the plan over the next several years. The staff report for the December 6 meeting will include
recommended strategies from the CAP for early implementation. Among the 183 strategies in the plan, we have recommended a group for 55 strategies to initiate in the first two years after the CAP is approved. Many of the strategies in the Climate Action Plan will require more public outreach and analysis on the benefit and costs.
We are keeping the comment period open until the plan goes to Council for approval, which will be in early 2022. If you would like to provide a 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.