Salem's Climate Action Planning Process Begins

Aerial view of downtown Salem from West Salem Oregon
​Salem is not immune to the effects of climate change. The unprecedented fires in the summer of 2020 as Salem was steeped in hazardous air quality will long be remembered by Salem residents. While many people consider climate change an increase of temperature, it refers to more than the number on a thermometer. The effects of climate change include intensifying natural events, such as fires, floods, and drought on communities as well as the ecosystems on which communities rely.

The City of Salem began its resource conservation focus in 2006, but it has more intently turned its focus to climate change starting in 2017 with the strategic action plan. As outlined in the strategic plan, the City developed a community Greenhouse Gas Inventory as well as a Climate Action Audit. Now the City of Salem is leading a community-driven action planning process to develop a Salem Community Climate Action Plan (CAP) that will outline steps to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions and to address ways the community can adapt to the changing climate by building resiliency. 

Because the Climate Action Plan is a community plan, community input is vital to the process. The planning process will be led by a robust Task Force that represents Salem’s diverse community. Throughout the planning process the City will be reaching out to the community asking for input on the four pillars of the CAP: visioning, vulnerability assessment, strategy development and implementation planning. Members of the public are invited to visit the online public engagement platform at salemclimateactionplan.com to learn more and to register for future updates.

The planning process is expected to take 16 months with the final plan anticipated to be presented to City Council for its adoption in December 2021. Salem has contracted with Verdis Group to lead the community through the climate action planning process.

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