Climate Action Plan for Salem

Aerial view of downtown Salem

On October 12, 2020, City Council adopted two goals for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in Salem: By 2035, Salem's GHG emissions shall be reduced to 50 percent of the citywide greenhouse gas emissions for the baseline year of 2016, and by 2050, Salem should be carbon neutral.

In February 2022, City Council accepted the Salem Climate Action PlanPlan and appointed a Council subcommittee to discuss and make recommendations on strategies for early implementation of the plan. The plan provides over 180 strategies to reduce GHG emissions, achieve the two Council-adopted goals, increase Salem's resiliency to climate change, and address issues related to equity and inclusion. This plan is the product of hundreds of hours of work with input from a 41-member Task Force and many other stakeholders.

Links to the plan and other important links are provided as follows.

The recommended implementation priorities include strategies that:

  • Have high potential for reducing GHG emissions, and
  • The City is the lead agency, and
  • The cost to the City is considered low, and
  • There are community equity co-benefits, and 
  • The initiation of the strategy could occur in the next two years. 

In addition to those strategies, other strategies are recommended as priorities if they:

  • Demonstrate leadership by example by the City, or 
  • Establish Climate Action Plan governance, or
  • Enhance equity, or
  • Are in-process or ongoing actions, or
  • Are already planned for initiating within two years, or 
  • Will be required by current or pending State rules and requirements.  

The recommendations are all drawn from the the short-term suggested strategies found in Appendix 8 of the Climate Action Plan  report.

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.

Contact us

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