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Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability releases five-year Climate Investment Plan

News Article
The Climate Investment Plan will be considered by City Council in a public hearing Sept. 20

Portland, Ore.— During a press conference in City Hall with more than 60 community members in attendance, the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), Commissioner Carmen Rubio, and climate justice leaders today released 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, prioritizing programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen communities hit first and hardest by extreme climate events. 

“The urgent need to address the climate crisis is clear,” Commissioner Rubio says. “In the face of unprecedented climate disasters, we must make impactful investments to build a sustainable, climate-resilient city for future generations — especially communities that experience climate change first and disproportionately.”  

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. The nine-month CIP process included extensive outreach and engagement with community, nonprofits, industry and business leaders and public partners whose feedback is incorporated in the plan.    

Now, that plan will be considered for adoption by City Council on Sept. 20. 

“The Climate Investment Plan is the result of years of collaboration that began when PCEF was created by our communities and voted in by Portlanders,” said PCEF Program Manager Sam Baraso. “The strength of this plan is in the reality that only by working together can we change our future. The time to start is now. We’re looking forward to presenting the CIP to City Council next month.” 

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). 

City Council directed PCEF to launch two strategic programs immediately 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. 

First in the nation 

PCEF was 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.