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Climate Action

From extreme weather to air quality, climate change impacts Gresham’s residents, our economy, and the natural environment. Together, we can reduce pollution and improve community health. 

A community effort 

  • Four Focus Areas
  • Project Background
  • Resources
Four Focus Areas

Read the Climate Action Plan.
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The Climate Action Plan includes four core focus areas where the City and community will work together.


Energy use is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Gresham. These emissions come from electricity and fossil fuel use in homes, commercial buildings, and industrial processes.

To reduce emissions, the City and local partners will work together to:

  • Increase energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings.
  • Increase the amount of renewable energy supplied to the community.

Urban form and transportation

Transportation is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Gresham. These emissions come from vehicles and transit.

To reduce emissions, the City and local partners will work together to:

  • Promote bike and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and planning.
  • Promote urban planning designed around walking and access to public transit options.
  • Promote electric vehicles and charging stations.

Solid waste

Every day, people produce, use and throw away goods and materials. Producing and disposing of food, household items and building materials can impact land, water and air in dramatic ways.

To reduce our community’s impact, the City and local partners will work together to:

  • Reduce food waste.
  • Improve food access and composting.
  • Promote opportunities for repair and reuse.
  • Promote materials with low environmental impact.

Climate preparedness

Climate change presents an extreme risk to every community’s well-being through conditions that damage private and public property, injure people and disrupt the local economy.

It is essential local programs assist the community to prepare for, withstand and recover from climate hazards.

The City and local partners will work together to:

  • Distribute equipment that supports energy efficiency, space heating and cooling, smoke filtration, and insulation.
  • Provide information on climate hazards – fire and smoke, extreme heat and cold, winter weather and precipitation – how to prepare for them, and where to access resources.
  • Plant trees to keep the community cool and manage stormwater.
Project Background

The City signed the US Mayor’s Protection Agreement in 2007. Gresham joined 1,000 cities across the nation in pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. 

Greenhouse gases are released into the air mostly by human activities. An increase in greenhouse gases traps heat, making the planet warmer. Trapped heat affects the severity of storms, wildfires and drought conditions.

City milestones

  • 2007 - Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement​.
  • 2009 - City Council adopted Sustainability Policy.​
  • 2011 - Internal operations and facilities sustainability plan​.
  • 2015 - Net zero wastewater treatment plant.
  • 2016 - LED street and park light conversion.​
  • 2018 - Updated City greenhouse gas inventory.
  • 2018 - Expanded Green Business Program.
  • 2019 - Solar assessments completed.
  • 2021 - Community solar at City fire stations​.
  • 2021 - Council Work Plan – Climate Action​.
  • 2021 - Community-wide greenhouse gas inventory.

Next steps

  • 2022 - Strategic planning and community-wide outreach framework.
  • 2023 - Present a climate action plan for City Council adoption.
  • Mayor Stovall charging an electric vehicle in front of Gresham City Hall
  • Solar array at the Gresham Wastewater Treatment Plan
  • Large tank containing grease, used to create energy.
  • Utility worker in a Cherry Picker replacing a street light.

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  • Thanks to a grant from the PGE Change Drive Fund, the City has added electric vehicle charging stations at Gresham City Hall, Rockwood Market Hall, downtown Gresham and the Rockwood Public Safety Facility.

    “As the owner of an electric vehicle, I am proud that our City is increasing the availability and access to electric vehicle charging stations,” said Mayor Stovall. “Electric vehicles provide a tremendous benefit to not only our environment but to users as well.” 

  • In 2009 a solar array was installed at the wastewater treatment plant, generating 8 percent of annual electricity use.

  • The City's wastewater treatment plant was the City's highest electricity user. Now it can generate more than 100 percent of its own electricity using solar panels, liquid organics processing and biogas cogeneration. This has saved ratepayers over $1 million a year since 2012. 

  • The City's streetlight LED replacement project has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent and energy use by 70 percent. LED streetlights save Gresham $700,000 in electricity costs a year.