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Community Climate Investments

Climate Protection Programinspectors reviewing solar panals

The Climate Protection Program uses a declining limit, or cap, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels used throughout Oregon. This includes emissions from fossil fuels used in transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial settings. The program began in 2022 and each year the cap is lowered until greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 90% percent by 2050.

Each year DEQ distributes compliance instruments to the fuel suppliers regulated by the program. The number of compliance instruments distributed by DEQ is equal to that year's cap. A compliance instrument allows a fuel supplier to emit one ton of greenhouse gas pollution. As the cap declines, DEQ distributes less, and less compliance instruments each year.

Community Climate Investments

In addition to using compliance instruments, fuel suppliers can also choose to use a limited number of Community Climate Investment credits. Fuel suppliers can earn CCI credits by contributing funds to DEQ-approved CCI entities. The CCI entities then invest those funds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon's environmental justice communities. 

CCI entities must be 501(c)(3) nonprofits and must demonstrate appropriate administrative processes and financial controls to hold and spend CCI funds on approved projects. They will go through application, contracting, and approval of workplans prior to spending any available funds. DEQ sets the prices for a CCI credit, which rises modestly each year and is adjusted for inflation. The initial price is $107 in 2021 dollars.

Environmental justice community engagement and representation is crucial for ensuring that Community Climate Investments are invested as intended and meeting program goals. DEQ, in partnership with the Equity Advisory Committee, will review and approve workplans for CCI entities.

To learn more about project priorities and how they center environmental justice and equity, view the Community Climate Investment Overview.

Next steps

Currently, DEQ is gathering information from individuals and organizations who would like to provide input on questions related to potential Community Climate Investment entities and potential CCI projects. CCI entities will implement eligible projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon's environmental justice communities.

This request for information closes Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at 5 p.m. and will be followed by a Request for Proposals. A response to the RFI is not required to respond to the RFP. Anyone can respond to any or all questions If there is interest in meeting to discuss questions verbally instead of submitting written response, that can be arranged.

This RFI is posted on Oregon Buys. You may submit all responses and questions directed to Whitney Dorer, the Climate Policy Community Engagement Coordinator.

Contact

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