Commissioner Rubio Celebrates Unanimous Approval of Framework for Sustainability and Climate Commission

News Article
The Sustainability and Climate Commission will guide City climate action and sustainability goals as a new governance structure and champion body for current and future climate work

City Commissioner Carmen Rubio today celebrated City Council’s unanimous approval of a framework to create a new governance structure for climate action in Portland. 

The Sustainability and Climate Commission will serve as the official climate connection to other governance bodies at the City, serving as a bridge between staff, community, and elected officials to shape and prioritize climate action for Portland. 

“Portland has long been an international leader in sustainability and climate justice — and this commission will cement our climate actions within our new governance structure and act as a champion body for all current and future climate work,” Commissioner Rubio said. “This new advisory body will ensure that climate and sustainability work across all service areas will be unified and lead to lasting change.”

In late 2021, Commissioner Rubio directed the hiring of a consultant to gather different perspectives about how the Planning and Sustainability Commission was functioning. As a result of this report, it was clear there was a need for two commissions, as the oversight responsibilities related to both land use planning and sustainability have become more than one commission can undertake. In January 2023, Council voted to split the commission, creating a Planning Commission, and directing the creation of a Sustainability and Climate Commission.

“We are grateful for Council’s approval to formally adopt the Sustainability and Climate Commission,” said Vivian Satterfield, Chief Sustainability Officer for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability who led the community engagement and policy work to create the SCC. “This commission serves as a voice for all Portlanders in the new form of government and creates opportunity for the community to work collaboratively with the City to ensure climate priorities are always considered in our work.”

Research to define the commission began in April 2023. Staff met with key partners and City staff and held community events to help shape the draft that was open for public comment earlier this year. Recruitment is slated to occur in late 2024, with an official start in late 2024 or early 2025.

About Commissioner Rubio 

Commissioner Carmen Rubio joined the Portland City Council in January 2021. She oversees the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Bureau of Development Services, Portland Housing Bureau, and Prosper Portland.

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.


Jimmy Radosta

Communications Director for Commissioner Carmen Rubio

Eli Bonilla

Planning and Sustainability Senior Communications Strategist