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City Of Eugene Invests In WA Forest Project To Meet 2020 Carbon Neutrality Goal

Rachael McDonald


The City of Eugene announced the purchase of carbon offsets July 7 in an effort to meet their 2020 carbon neutrality goal outlined by the Climate Recovery Ordinance.

Using data from the 2019 Internal Operations Greenhouse Gas Inventory, city staff determined the city produced 6,162 metric tons of CO2e in 2019. Investment in carbon offsets are supposed to counterbalance the amount of emissions produced

The city budgeted $60,000 for the purchase of carbon offsets. They've decided to invest $52,071 in the Winston Creek Improved Forest Management Project in Morton, WA., according to city Climate Policy Analyst Samantha Roberts. The purchase was made through the Portland-based company Climate Trust.

"The number is used as a proxy because we [conduct the IOGGI] every other year and so we'll use that number for a couple of years until we have the next inventory numbers available to us," Roberts said.

Under the CRO, which includes goals for both the city and the community, all City of Eugene owned facilities and operations need be carbon neutral by 2020 and have no net release of greenhouse gas emissions.

Roberts said the city is working on reaching CRO targets by reducing carbon emissions locally. The city's investing in electric vehicles, making facilities more efficient, and exploring new technologies, but she said they're not at a point where they can meet goals without offsets.


“We are continuously and always working on ways to [reach goals], but in the meantime we're not going to get to zero today, but we still have to do something today,” she said. "There's urgency behind this work and carbon offsets are a tool that we can use today until we can get where we are trying to go tomorrow."



Copyright 2021 KLCC

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.
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