Portland CAT

Welcome to the Portland Climate Action Team!  

The Portland Climate Action Team (PCAT) is composed of Portland and surrounding
towns' residents who want to take meaningful action to promote clean energy, reduce
carbon pollution,
and advance the steps of the One Climate Future plan in the city.

For more information, please email portlandclimateaction@gmail.com.

Follow the PCAT's work on Facebook (@PortlandClimateActionTeam) and Instagram (@PortlandClimateActionTeam).

You are invited to join us at our regular meetings, third Thursday of every month, 6-7:30pm. We currently alternate months between in person and Zoom. Please email portlandclimateaction@gmail.com for the link or location details.

Current Projects at PCAT

PCAT has built a brand of knowing and being present in the municipality work in Portland. We have monthly meetings with the Sustainability Director to help improve current initiatives. We meet with other organizations and nonprofits to find partnership opportunities, and reach out and meet with city councilors regularly for meetings and to show our support for different initiatives going through the city. We also have a column in the West End News called Bright Ideas which brings forward trends, initiatives, and action items to move locals individual sustainability initiatives forward.

Other items we are working on:

  • Promoting Electrify Everything Initiative
  • Increasing awareness of One Climate Future and the sustainability initiatives through our social media platform
  • Tabling at local events to educate
  • Attending Sustainability and Transportation meetings to address issues within the city
  • Attending other city meetings when sustainability issues are being addressed

History of PCAT

The Portland Climate Action Team began in early 2015 as a way to mitigate climate change through actions at the local level. In the years since, we’ve completed a number of projects. Our first project was promotion of community solar farms, a new concept at the time (see the solar story below). Our efforts at finding a suitable location within the City of Portland led to the first two municipal solar arrays on closed landfills.

PCAT members celebrate startup of Portland's Ocean Ave array

PCAT members celebrate startup of Portland's Ocean Ave array

Following this, we composed the statements in Portland’s Comprehensive Plan relating to climate change. We strengthened the vision statement: “Recognizing our responsibility as a global citizen, and concerned that climate change will have significant impacts on our city, we will prioritize transition to a low-carbon economy, and adapt to those climate changes we can no longer mitigate.” And we added 10 specific actions the city will take to minimize emissions. We wrote the resolution, adopted by the council, that commits Portland to obtain all of its energy from renewable sources by 2040. We encouraged the city to update its 2008 climate action plan, and facilitated the research that resulted in the 2020 adoption, with South Portland of One Climate Future, a detailed climate action plan that will make the two cities leaders in climate mitigation and adaptation.

Solarizing Portland's Schools

Working with students and faculty at local middle and high schools, we developed a plan to solarize Portland’s schools. This activity came to completion late in 2019, by which time Maine’s solar legislation had changed in a way that encouraged municipal solar power. The school power demand could then be blended with a larger municipal buy. We organized 3 WindowDressers annual workshops, building hundreds of insulating window inserts by volunteer labor. 

PCAT organizes insulating window insert workshops with WindowDressers

PCAT organizes insulating window insert workshops with WindowDressers

We worked with our state senator to write LD 1543, an act to update the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code and allow cities to adopt a more demanding “stretch” energy code. We publicized Portland’s ordinance against vehicle idling by a downtown banner, newspaper ad and handout cards, as the IdleFree campaign.

We are currently writing a newspaper column on climate that is included in the Portland Sunday Telegram.