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Community Climate Investments

Climate Protection Programinspectors reviewing solar panals

The Climate Protection Program used a declining limit, or cap, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels used throughout Oregon. This included emissions from fossil fuels used in transportation, residential, commercial and industrial settings. The program was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions  90% by 2050.

Each year DEQ distributed compliance instruments to the fuel suppliers regulated by the program. The number of compliance instruments distributed by DEQ was equal to that year's cap. A compliance instrument allowed a fuel supplier to emit one ton of greenhouse gas pollution. As the cap declined, DEQ distributed fewer compliance instruments each year.

Community Climate Investments

Fuel suppliers, regulated by the Climate Protection Program, could also choose to use a limited number of Community Climate Investment credits. Fuel suppliers could choose to earn CCI credits by contributing funds to DEQ-approved CCI entities. The CCI entities would then invest those funds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon's environmental justice communities. 

The number of CCI credits a covered fuel supplier earned was based on the amount of CCI funds contributed to CCI entities. The CCI credit contribution amount is the dollar amount in effect to earn one CCI credit. 

CCI entities

CCI entities had to be 501(c)(3) nonprofits and must have demonstrated appropriate administrative processes and financial controls to hold and spend CCI funds on approved projects. 

DEQ held a Request for Applications March 10 through May 16, 2023. DEQ, in partnership with the Community Climate Investment Equity Advisory Committee, DEQ had granted provisional approval to s the non-profit Seeding Justice to become a Community Climate Investment Entity. DEQ and Seeding Justice would have needed to complete a final contract for Seeding Justice to be approved to receive Community Climate Investment funds from fossil fuel suppliers.


For more information about Community Climate Investments, contact the Climate Protection Program  

Equity and environmental justice

Environmental justice community engagement and representation was crucial for ensuring that Community Climate Investments would have been invested as intended and meeting program goals. CCI project priorities were:
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions on average at least one ton per CCI credit
  • Reducing emissions of other air contaminants, particularly in or near environmental justice communities
  • Promoting public health, environmental, and economic benefits for environmental justice communities
  • Accelerating the transition to clean energy particularly in or near environmental justice communities
Environmental justice communities are communities of color, communities experiencing lower incomes, tribal communities, rural communities, coastal communities, communities with limited infrastructure and other communities traditionally underrepresented in public processes and adversely harmed by environmental and health hazards, including seniors, youth, and persons with disabilities.