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The Climate Investment Plan development process

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Community members providing input on the Climate Investment Plan concepts.
The Climate Investment Plan (CIP) is PCEF’s five-year road map to climate action. Learn about the CIP's development process.
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The need in our community

At the direction of Portland City Council, PCEF developed the 5-year CIP to guide PCEF investments. 

PCEF is funded through a 1% surcharge on the Portland sales of large retailers with $1 billion in national revenue and $500,000 in local revenue. Through the CIP, PCEF will invest $750 million over five years, roughly $150 million annually. These investments help ensure our most impacted residents are prepared for a changing climate as we support the City’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The CIP is grounded in climate research, deep community engagement, and multiple rounds of input from residents, businesses, subject matter experts, government partners, and community organizations to ensure the proposed solutions address the needs of Portland residents hit first and hardest by climate change. All programs are evaluated within PCEF’s equity and climate framework, which considers benefits to frontline communities, community leadership, implementation feasibility, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, and accountability.

What is included in the CIP?

  • Outcomes and goals for each funding priority
  • Allocation and priorities for community responsive grants
  • Allocation, program elements, and eligibility information for strategic programs

Learn the difference between community responsive grants and strategic programs

Project steps and timeline

Image of front cover of the Climate Investment Plan document.

Step 1: Project overview and accessibility survey (completed January 2023). Before launching efforts to write a plan, we listened to what you needed to participate in the Climate Investment Plan process. 

Step 2: Community visioning and priorities (January to February 2023). At this stage, we wanted to hear a diverse range of ideas from all stakeholders and develop a vision of what’s possible when we invest in community-grounded solutions to address the climate crisis. To get input, we invited residents, nonprofits, and subject matter experts to share what solutions would achieve major greenhouse gas reductions that advance racial, social, and climate justice. 

Step 3. Preliminary draft (March to April 2023). Using information collected from workshops, surveys, subject-matter roundtable discussions, community studies, research, and best practices, we developed a preliminary draft of the Climate Investment Plan for public review and comment. The preliminary draft contained proposed funding allocations, strategies, and goals.  

Step 4. Full Climate Investment Plan draft (May 2023). After considering comments from the preliminary draft, we refined a full draft of the Climate Investment Plan and circulated it for public review and comment. The full draft contained more detail on program elements.

Step 5. Committee deliberation (June and July 2023). After considering comments from the full draft, proposed changes to the CIP were presented to the PCEF Committee for review and deliberation. The PCEF Committee agreed to incorporate the proposed changes and recommended a final Climate Investment Plan to City Council on July 20, 2023.

Step 6. City Council approval (September 2023). City Council reviewed, discussed, and heard comments on the plan on September 20, 2023. The second reading was held on September 27, 2023 and the CIP unanimously approved. Read about Council's decision on our news page.

Step 7. Implementation of the Climate Investment Plan and reflection and evaluation feedback (Fall 2023). Following City Council approval, a community-responsive grant solicitation (RFP 3) was released and strategic programs may begin implementation. We will collect feedback on how decisions were made during the process and recommendations for the next update of the plan.

Climate Investment Plan engagement process

You helped shape the Climate Investment Plan. We are grateful for your commitment to strengthening the CIP by giving us feedback throughout this process. Creating an equitable Climate Investment Plan (CIP) requires meaningful participation from the community. We received public comment submissions via listening session, online survey, and email from community members, nonprofit organizations, business owners, educational institutions, and government institutions. We also held two community review panels. These included community voices most impacted by climate change.

Our process

We read through all feedback from the various outreach efforts. We incorporated changes that balanced: 

  • Community need and empowerment.
  • Greenhouse gas reductions or sequestration.
  • Implementation feasibility. 

Every member of our team read each comment we received with careful consideration. Changes that we incorporated were aligned with the scope and mission of PCEF. We recognize your valuable time and effort in this process. 

How we used community feedback

Accessibility survey. We know that there can be barriers to participation, so we started this process with a survey to learn more about participating community members and create an inclusive engagement process moving forward. Included in the survey were questions about individual motivations to participate, climate change concerns, and which efforts to address climate change interested participants the most. 

Community feedback on the CIP Preliminary Draft. Creating an equitable Climate Investment Plan requires meaningful participation from the community. We are grateful for your commitment to strengthening the CIP by giving us feedback. We received over 500 comments from a diverse group of stakeholders. They include community members, nonprofit organizations, business owners, and government institutions. We also held two community review panels. These included community voices most impacted by climate change. 

Our funding priorities

Public engagement is focused on ten funding priorities, which are based on City Council direction during recent code improvements and the original ballot initiative. 

Two priorities are on a different and faster track for development upon request by City Council when they evaluated and updated the PCEF program in October 2022. 

  • Growing an equitable tree canopy to support the City’s 2035 goals - $40 million allocated over five years. 
    • Developed in collaboration with Portland Parks and Recreation's Urban Forestry Division and through community input.
    • Next step: creating the Equitable Tree Canopy workgroup to advise on program design. The recruitment period for the workgroup was Jan. 16 - Feb. 15, 2024, and Urban Forestry will begin staffing up for implementation. 
  • Raising the bar on efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in new and redeveloped regulated affordable multifamily housing - $60 million over five years. 
    • This program has two phases.
      • Phase 1 has been launched. These affordable housing projects are well into design and development. 
      • Phase 2 guidelines should be complete by early 2024. 

Learn more about the fast-tracked programs

The remaining eight funding priorities are on a separate timeline for development and completion. The public engagement process ran from December 2022 until July 2023 when the PCEF Committee made a recommendation for City Council approval in September 2023.

The categories are:

  • Energy efficiency, renewable energy, and embodied carbon in housing and small commercial buildings.
  • Building upgrades for government and nonprofit owned buildings that provide services in climate emergencies (also referred to as “community resilience hubs”).
  • Transportation decarbonization or efforts to reduce greenhouse gases in transportation.
  • Low-cost access to capital for carbon-reducing projects.
  • Building community-based organization operational capacity for organizations that have a meaningful connection to advancing climate justice.
  • 82nd Ave planning and early investment for low carbon equitable communities.
  • Growing a diverse and well-trained workforce and contractor pool to perform work that reduces or sequesters greenhouse gases .
  • Regenerative agriculture and green infrastructure projects that reduce or sequester greenhouse gases within the City and focus on priority populations. 

Topic roundtables

As part of the CIP process, PCEF staff convened roundtables for each funding priority (or topic) in the Climate Investment Plan to create robust first drafts for public review and comment. Roundtables were limited to two 2-hour long meetings that informed the development of goals, outcomes, eligibility criteria, and funding levels for this topic area along with public input from the community visioning and priorities workshops and stakeholder input. An incentive of $300 for participation in both roundtable meetings was provided for those selected.  

How were roundtable participants selected?   

The number of participants was limited to approximately eight individuals to encourage deeper feedback and critical deliberation on program elements to provide thoughtful drafts for public review. Considerations for selection were: 

  1. Specialized expertise including priority population* perspectives.
  2. Play a potential role in implementation.
  3. Availability to participate fully.
  4. Demonstrated community involvement.

View the list of participants.

*PCEF priority populations are people with low income and people of color; priority populations for workforce and contractor development projects also include people with disabilities, women, and other people experiencing gender or sex-based discrimination in the workplace. 

Past Events

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Available Online

City Council Hearing - Climate Investment Plan

Public Hearing (Council Present)
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