Meeting Our Goals

In 2007, the Oregon Legislature established climate change goals for the state through House Bill 3543, the bill which also created the Oregon Global Warming Commission.

In 1990, Oregon's recorded levels of greenhouse gases totaled 56.4 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

This means that Oregon's levels should be 14 or lower by 2050.

HB 3543 called on Oregon to prepare for the effects of climate change, and set specific greenhouse gas reduction goals:

  • Arrest the growth and begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2010.

  • Achieve greenhouse gas levels that are 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

  • Achieve greenhouse gas levels that are at least 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Check out Climate Change in Oregon for more information on the effects of climate change, and review the Commission's Reports for detailed biennial updates.

Oregon's Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Data presented below are from the Oregon Global Warming Commission's most recent Report to the LegislatureClick on charts/tables to enlarge.


Oregon Emissions by Sector

The following table and chart summarize GHG emissions by economic sectors between 1990 and 2016. The transportation sector is the largest contributor of GHG emissions, followed by the residential and commercial sector. Overall emissions dipped between 2000 and 2014, increased in 2015, and slightly decreased again in 2016. Preliminary data for 2017 show a likely increase in GHG emissions.


consumption-based inventory

Oregon also estimates its contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions using a consumption-based inventory, which estimates the global emissions resulting from consumption of goods and services (including energy) by Oregon consumers. Consumption-based emissions are calculated across the life cycle of the items.

Between 2005 and 2015, vehicle use, production of food, and use of appliances (primarily heating and cooling) contribute the most to emissions. Vehicles and parts represent about 20 percent of Oregon’s consumption-based emissions.


comparing sector- and consumption-based inventories

Sector- and consumption-based inventories have some overlap, which is why the totals are not added together.

After eliminating overlap, the sum of Oregon’s 2015 emissions demonstrates a carbon footprint of 114 million metric tons of CO2e — more than either inventory alone. When viewed together, the distinct inventories provide a broader understanding of our state’s emissions and the opportunities to reduce them.


transportation emissions

The transportation sector remains the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon.

In 2013, the Oregon Department of Transportation modeled what would happen to transportation-related GHG emissions if all of the actions in ODOT’s Statewide Transportation Strategy vision were fully implemented. Under full STS implementation (“2050 STS Vision” column), transportation emissions would be reduced by 60% compared to 1990 levels.


Oregon's Greenhouse Gas Emission Projections

With Oregon's strengthened Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements, some sectors should see reduced greenhouse gas emissions from electricity or other energy sources. However, even with improved RPS requirements, the state's forecast is not expected to even come close to the 2020 or 2050 goals. 

While we do not yet have a verified 2017 total from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, we are able to report a preliminary value of 64-65 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) for the state’s total GHG emissions in 2017. This reverses the slight decrease the state achieved in 2016, returning to approximately the same level as in 2015. This level is well above the state’s goal of 51 million MTCO2e by 2020 and the Commission’s adopted interim goal of 32.7 million MTCO2e by 2035, and it does not put Oregon on a path toward achieving its long-term goal of 14 million MTCO2e by 2050  

For more information on Oregon's current emissions inventory, projections, and in-depth analysis and recommendations, please see the Global Warming Commission's Report to the Legislature.