PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland City Council unanimously approved an inaugural five-year Climate Investment plan on Wednesday – investing $750 million in several climate programs.
The Climate Investment Plan, developed by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, will help the city reach its zero carbon emissions goal by 2050 and fund climate justice programs, according to the City of Portland.
The $750-million plan identifies 10 funding priorities including $300 million towards energy efficiency in housing and small businesses along with $100 million for transportation decarbonization. Another $100 million is being prioritized for “low-cost access to capital for carbon-reducing projects.”
More funding will flow towards building upgrades for nonprofit and government-owned buildings and “regenerative agriculture and green infrastructure,” officials said.
“As we continue to face unprecedented climate disasters, the Climate Investment Plan will deliver highly impactful programs that advance climate action while strengthening the communities hit first and hardest by extreme climate events,” said Commissioner Carmen Rubio. “It is more urgent than ever to build on the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund’s mission to reduce and remove the systemic barriers that have left climate-justice solutions out of the reach of too many Portlanders for far too long.”
In a statement, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler noted, “there is no other fund like PCEF anywhere else in the country.” He added, “we’re leading the way in designing climate solutions with and for community who is on the frontlines of climate change. And because of this, of course, this program is being watched by many, many people all across the nation and therefore we have to do it right.”
“The City of Portland has long been an international leader in climate action,” said Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Donnie Oliveira. “Today’s unanimous approval from City Council further commits us to that role and establishes the City as an example of how to implement climate-justice solutions by, and for frontline communities.”
Since the city approved the $750-million deal, the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund will start accepting applications for Community Responsive Grants.
PCEF will also issue grants under seven designated categories: renewable energy and energy efficiency projects; transportation decarbonization projects; green infrastructure projects; regenerative agriculture projects; climate job training; organizational capacity-building projects; and other projects that reduce greenhouse gases, officials said.
Before City Council adopted the new climate plan, the city previously directed PCEF to launch two climate programs – including $40 million over five years towards growing an equitable tree canopy along with a $60 million investment over five years to renewable energy upgrades in affordable multifamily housing.