Earlier this week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown shared the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s work on a global stage when she served as a panelist on a session titled “Partnerships to Reduce Wasted Food on the American West Coast” at COP26, the 2021 United Nations climate change conference.
Speaking from Glasgow, Scotland, Governor Brown talked about Oregon’s climate emergency and how the state is taking meaningful steps to combat climate change through food waste reduction. The session, hosted by the Pacific Coast Collaborative, included members of the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment. The PCFWC is an unprecedented public-private partnership featuring some of the nation’s largest food businesses alongside local, state, and provincial governments – all working collaboratively toward a shared ambition of effective, industry-wide actions that prevent and reduce wasted food along the West Coast.
“Having the PCC [Pacific Coast Collaborative] allows us to share, replicate and learn from one another in ways that are extraordinarily valuable,” Governor Brown said.
Food that is grown and never eaten consumes an enormous amount of natural resources, and is responsible for 4 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. According to Oregon’s own Consumption-Based Emissions Inventory, food is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions caused by people in Oregon after transportation. To address this, Governor Brown included a directive in her 2020 Executive Order 20-04 on Climate that instructs DEQ to “take actions necessary to prevent and recover food waste, with the goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030.”
“We have to move further and faster,” Governor Brown said. “We just have to, no other choice.”
Among the efforts Governor Brown highlighted was Oregon’s new Bad Apple campaign, designed to help Oregon households save money and reduce food waste at home. The governor said she appreciated the campaign’s use of humor and direct appeal to consumers to save money.
You can watch the full presentation at: U.S. Climate Action Center at COP26 | Partnerships to Reduce Wasted Food on the American West Coast – YouTube
Learn more about DEQ’s work to reduce food waste at: Department of Environmental Quality : Food Environmental Impacts and Actions : Food Environmental Impacts and Actions : State of Oregon
– Julie Miller, communications specialist