Governor Ted Kulongoski appointed the Climate Change Integration Group (CCIG) to develop a framework for making these intelligent and well-informed choices. The Governor charged the CCIG to create a preparation and adaptation strategy for Oregon, implement and monitor mitigation measures from the 2004 Oregon Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reductions (and devise new ones if appropriate), serve as a clearinghouse for Oregon climate change information, and explore new research possibilities related to climate change for Oregon’s universities.
In this report, the CCIG proposes that Oregon takes steps toward developing a framework that will assist individuals, businesses, and governments to incorporate climate change into their planning processes. This framework is based upon the following underpinnings:
• Business-as-Usual is Not Climate as Usual: A change in the Earth’s climate of unprecedented magnitude is now inevitable, but concerted action to reduce greenhouse gases can help reduce the degree to which our climate changes.
• Our Climate is Changing Faster Than Anticipated: Recent scientific work indicates that the climate is changing faster that had been anticipated even three years ago5, and that we may be approaching a less favorable climate regime to sustain Oregon’s economic health.
• Significant Economic Threat: Research shows that climate change will ultimately produce significant adverse economic impacts on most sectors of Oregon’s economy.
• Significant Human Health Threat: Climate change brings with it significant new health threats, such as new diseases and new disease vectors.
• It is Urgent that We Act Now: A broad scientific consensus tells us that it is urgent that we act immediately to reduce the release of greenhouse gases if we are to keep climate change manageable, and to prepare for the impacts of warming that are now inevitable.