Portland Clean Energy Fund releases second draft of Climate Investment Plan

News Article
The five-year investment plan outlines PCEF’s commitment to climate justice.

Portland, Ore.— The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) today released the second, or “full” draft of the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund’s (PCEF) inaugural five-year Climate Investment Plan (CIP). The CIP outlines proposed funding allocations, strategies, and outcomes for program investments from 2023 through 2028. Incorporating feedback gathered from community, nonprofits, and public partners, the full draft expands on proposed programs.  

“We were intentional and thoughtful in our engagement process,” said PCEF Program Manager Sam Baraso. “It was important to us that we heard from the community how we could strengthen this draft of the plan. We are looking forward to this final round of feedback and getting one step closer to implementing this critical work.”

At the direction of Portland City Council, PCEF began developing the five-year CIP last October to further define funding priorities and allocations to achieve major carbon-emissions reductions and build resilience in ways that benefit those most impacted by the climate crisis.

“Each year, we are seeing how our changing climate is impacting our neighbors and our families. The work isn’t done when we finalize this plan – it’s only beginning,” said Baraso. “We’re eager to start. We’re eager to see the change we can bring to our community.”

Funding priorities

Programs and projects in the CIP must fall within one of the following categories defined in PCEF’s governing code (Portland City Code Chapter 7.07):

  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
  • Transportation decarbonization projects.
  • Green infrastructure projects.
  • Regenerative agriculture projects.
  • Climate jobs training, apprenticeships, and contractor development projects.
  • Organizational capacity building projects.
  • Other projects that reduce or sequester greenhouse gases (GHGs).

In Oct. 2022, the Portland City Council directed PCEF to immediately launch two strategic programs based on timeliness, need, community impact, and greenhouse gas savings opportunity:

  • Growing an equitable tree canopy to support the City’s 2035 tree canopy cover goals – $40 million over five years.
  • Efficient and renewable energy upgrades in new and redeveloped regulated affordable multifamily housing – $60 million over five years.

Next steps

Members of the public can review the full draft CIP on PCEF’s website. Comments can be submitted for consideration by:

PCEF will accept comments through June 2, 2023.

A final draft of the CIP will be presented to the PCEF Committee for deliberation and comment in late June. The Committee will recommend the final CIP to City Council in summer 2023.

First in the nation

PCEF is the first climate-fund measure created and led by communities on the frontlines of climate change. The success of the measure was reliant upon the leadership of communities of color, deep relationship building, and a diverse coalition of supporters. As the PCEF program evolves, it is guided by a deep commitment to community engagement, accountability, and prioritizing those most impacted by a changing climate.

About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) develops creative and practical solutions to enhance Portland’s livability, preserve distinctive places and plan for a resilient future. BPS collaborates with community partners to provide comprehensive land use, neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental planning, and urban design; research, policy and technical services to advance green building, energy efficiency and the use of solar and renewable energy, waste prevention, composting and recycling, and a sustainable food system; and policy and actions to address climate change. 

About the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund

The Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) initiative was passed by 65% of Portland voters in November 2018. It provides a consistent, long-term funding source and oversight structure to ensure that our community's climate action efforts are implemented to support social, economic and environmental benefits for all Portlanders, particularly communities of color and low-income residents. The initiative was supported by a broad coalition of groups and individuals and represents the first environmental initiative in Oregon led by communities of color.