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Zero Waste Oregon


It's time to pay farmers to fight Climate Change

Oregon Agricultural Climate Reduction Act

Farmers in the west face unprecedented challenges due to reduced water tables, more extreme weather patterns, increased fuel and fertilizer costs, and labor shortages.


These challenges also present an economic opportunity for the state. In 2022, the federal government passed unprecedented legislation - $20 billion to incentivize carbon sequestration in soils.


Changes to farming practices can be the least controversial, most effective method for combating climate change because they require less labor, less fuel, and water. But they also require new investment by farmers, and the cost of that investment should be offset by the government to incentivize the policy change.

  • Requires Oregon to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants to achieve a reduction in methane by 40%, hydrofluorocarbon gasses by 40%, and anthropogenic black carbon by 50% below 2013 levels by 2035 (this aligns Oregon with CA and WA)

  • Further incentivizes carbon sequestration in soils through tax credits to farmers to offset the costs of investment in new equipment.

  • Helps Oregon farmers access funds through sequestration markets and possibly helps them to access federal dollars.

  • Requires DEQ and Dept. of Ag to adopt a plan to meet these goals no later than 2025.

  • Directs additional funding as needed to complete this plan.

Reducing food and yard waste is the fastest way to fight climate change in Oregon right now.

Oregon Organic Waste Climate Reduction Act

Organic waste materials make up the largest material types landfilled in Oregon every year. When organic waste material decomposes, it releases methane, a short-lived climate super-pollutant 84 times more potent as a contributor to climate change than carbon dioxide. Zero Waste Oregon seeks to align Oregon's organic waste laws, especially for food waste, with California SB 1383(2016), by requiring DEQ to establish policies to reduce methane and other greenhouse gasses. This is consistent with, and in furtherance of, Executive Order 20-04. Problem(s)

  • Oregon has moved away from United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of a 50% reduction in food waste.

  • Food waste, pulp and other organic waste are significant contributor to Short-Lived Climate Pollutants: black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons, identified by the World Bank as crucial in addressing climate change.

  • Oregon is an outlier among West Coast States in failing to adopt laws to achieve reductions in food waste by 2025 and 2030.

Solution

  • Require Oregon to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants to achieve a reduction in methane by 40%, hydrofluorocarbon gases by 40%, and anthropogenic black carbon by 50% below 2013 levels by 2035

  • Require DEQ to adopt a plan to meet these goals no later than 2025.

  • Model the legislation to achieve these goals on California SB 1383 (2016), adjusting the deadlines as noted.

  • Direct additional funding as needed for DEQ to complete this plan.



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