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Metro takes steps to meet emissions goal

(Image is Clickable Link) by: METRO COUNCIL'S PHASE 1 FINDINGS REPORT, 2012 - The emissions goal for the Portland metropolitan area calls for a 20 percent reduction per capita by 2035.Two Metro committees host meetings in April and May to help the regional agency develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gases in the Portland area.

Metro’s Policy Advisory Committee and the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation have until December to send legislators preferred approaches to the issue. The Legislature requires the Portland area to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks by 2035.

Members of JPACT and MPAC are invited to participate in the joint meetings, which will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, April 11, and again May 30, at the World Forestry Center’s Cheatham Hall, 4033 S.W. Canyon Road.

In a three-stage process, the Metro Council is working with the community to achieve sustainable and efficient land-use and transportation strategies to reduce the gases.

According to Metro, in 2005, each person who commuted in a car or a truck on average dispelled 4.05 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The state target for 2035 is 1.2 metric tons per person, about a 40 percent decrease. Since 1990, the Portland area has decreased emissions per person by 26 percent; meanwhile, the national average has risen by 12 percent.

During 2011’s first phase of the project, MPAC (a committee of residents and representatives who advise the Metro Council) and JPACT (a panel of elected officials and leaders of transportation agencies) endorsed evaluation criteria and guiding principles to facilitate scenario development.

A total of 144 models were tested and analyzed using ODOT’s Greenhouse Gas State Transportation Emissions Planning. Ultimately, they found that the reduction target is a realistic goal, but it will require more effort, planning and strategies than originally estimated.

This year, community and business leaders, local government officials and the public are invited to give input on investments and actions. Committees will recommend approaches for the Metro Council to consider for adoption in December, which will then be submitted to Oregon’s seven-member Land Conservation and Development Commission.