Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Carmen Rubio are calling a plan to spend $2.4 million an on climate change-related work an “unprecedented investment” that will enable them to “take accelerated, aggressive climate action rooted in racial justice.”
Rubio, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, said in a press release this morning that, “Climate change is not stopping, or even slowing—and our opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and build resilience is fast closing.”
The funding will be included in the 2022-2023 BPS budget request and will include several transportation-related initiative, three new staff positions, and more.
Here’s where the money will go:
— $955,000 to confront how the built environment and transportation systems can mitigate the impact of climate change—especially on communities of color and low-income communities in East Portland. Examples of this work include creating more flood-, fire-, and heat-resilient built environments, and reducing extreme temperatures on high-traffic, wide streets like 82nd Avenue.
— $721,000 to decarbonize our electric grid and our transportation sector. Examples include staff capacity to implement the communitywide green tariff provisions in HB 2021, advance community solar and solar plus battery storage projects, support the Portland Bureau of Transportation in implementing Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility (POEM) Task Force recommendations, develop code requirements for EV-ready infrastructure, and further investigate land-use tools to facilitate zero-emissions delivery vehicles in the Central City.
— $450,000 to fund staff support for climate and sustainability work in the Bureau. Specifically, this investment will fund three critical positions: a coordinator to advance the Bureau’s policy work on reducing emissions from the manufacture, transport, installation, and disposal of building materials (known as embodied carbon); a coordinator to assist in the development of policy around internal cost of carbon; a coordinator to help evaluate and improve the way we work with Portlanders on climate policy. These positions are critical to advancing urgently needed climate policy and to increase the opportunity for Portlanders to participate in policy development. This work will be a key part of a new Chief Sustainability Officer’s leadership. BPS will begin recruitment for this position later this year.
— $250,000 to develop a Clean Air Action Plan. Currently, the city of Portland, and the entire Metro region, lacks a clean air action plan. This work will build upon previous planning efforts in coordination with the county and Metro. In addition, the City has released an RFP to help shape a clean industry hub – an effort to keep industrial and manufacturing jobs here in Portland while also improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.
Mayor Wheeler will host a public hearing this Thursday (5/5) on his proposed budget. The final 2022-23 budget will be adopted in June.