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Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund Committee recommends final Climate Investment Plan to City Council

News Article
Five-year investment plan proposes $750 million investment in community-centered solutions for climate justice.

Portland, Ore.— The Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) Committee recommended its inaugural five-year Climate Investment Plan (CIP) during its regularly scheduled monthly meeting Thursday, July 20. The CIP outlines strategies and outcomes for a $750 million investment in community-led clean energy projects and climate solutions from 2023 through 2028. Through extensive input and engagement from community, nonprofits, and public partners, the Committee-recommended CIP prioritizes programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen communities hit first and hardest by extreme climate events. 

“The Climate Investment Plan is one of many ways the City is addressing the urgency of the climate crisis,” said Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Donnie Oliveira. “Once approved by Council later this fall, these recommended solutions can help Portland realize its goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 while addressing community and infrastructure resilience.” 

At the direction of City Council, PCEF began developing the CIP in October 2022 to further define funding allocations and priorities to achieve major carbon-emissions reductions and build resilience in ways that benefit those most impacted by the climate crisis. 

“We are proud of the work we’ve done and grateful for the incredible amount of community input in meeting climate goals, lifting up the voices of our community, and advancing racial justice,” said PCEF Program Manager Sam Baraso. “By investing in Portland families and communities, the CIP will help expand access to climate solutions while ensuring that the economic benefits go to those who have historically been left behind.” 

Funding priorities 

The CIP outlines plans to invest an estimated $750 million across the following seven funding categories from 2023 to 2028:  

  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy: $474 million 
  • Transportation decarbonization: $128 million 
  • Green infrastructure: $70 million 
  • Climate jobs, workforce, and contractor development: $41 million 
  • Regenerative agriculture: $20 million 
  • Organizational capacity building projects: $15 million 
  • Other projects that reduce or sequester greenhouse gases: $2 million 

Next steps 

PCEF staff will present comprehensive program information during a Council work session in August. Topics will include performance metrics, goals and outcomes from the first years of the program, as well as information on the CIP process. 

City Council is expected to vote on the final CIP in September 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 extreme climate events. 

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.