As our third year implementing our One Climate Future plan comes to a close, we’d like to take the time to look back on the progress we have made towards our ambitious climate action goals. With our overarching goals to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 and run 100% of municipal operations of clean renewable energy by 2040, One Climate Future lays out 56 near-term strategies that are tangible and that we as a community are working towards on a daily basis. Of the 56 strategies, 72% are in progress and another 12% are completed. To check in on the status of all the strategies, check out our progress dashboard at the end of this month at This week we’ll share some major highlights from the past year, and be sure to come to Coffee & Climate next week to hear about everything we’re working on in more detail!

1. The first iteration of Electrify Everything! closed at the end of July. The program awarded more than $260,000 in rebates directly to hundreds of South Portland residents to electrify their heating, cooling, lawn care equipment, bikes, and vehicles, and to weatherize their homes.

2. The City is very close to finishing its first Street Design Technical Manual. This exciting document will serve as the City’s guidebook for multimodal complete streets design. Designing streets that are safe, accessible, and convenient for all modes of travel is critical for the City to meet its 2035 goal of 26% of all trips are by public transit or active transportation, up from 12% in 2020.

3. We have received grant funding to complete a Thornton-Cash Neighborhood Byway in 2024. This byway will create a valuable link in the bike-ped network in the Thornton Heights, Cash Corner, and Ligonia neighborhoods, especially creating a safe route to school from the Greenbelt to the new middle school campus.

4. The City has partnered with Revision Energy to install 36 EV chargers on City properties. The first bank of EV chargers will be located at the South Portland Community Center. Download and set up your ChargePoint app to be ready to use the new chargers!

5. The City launched the South Portland Electric Tool Library (SPETL) in the spring. The SPETL provides residents the opportunity to borrow electric lawn equipment for free instead of having to purchase their own equipment, bolstering the sharing economy. It’s also an opportunity for residents to try out these electric tools before making a purchase.


6. Along with assistance from eight partner organizations, funding from three grants, and the work of twenty-five volunteers, the City launched its 100 Resilient Yards program in March. We selected 100 properties (out of 430 that applied) to receive technical expertise and resources to help transform these properties into resilient, organic landscapes founded on healthy soils.

7. With new modeling from the Army Corps of Engineers on dynamic flood inundation from sea level rise and coastal storms, and with grant funding from the state, we launched a Coastal Resilience project this summer. The project included three workshops and four coastal walks to engage with South Portlanders about the climate impacts and hazards we are facing and what nature-based solutions we may want to consider to mitigate the impacts.

Coffee and Climate

Join us Friday, Dec. 8 from 9 to 10 a.m. for this month’s Coffee & Climate. This month will feature Portland and South Portland Sustainability Office staff recapping a very busy year advancing us toward our One Climate Future climate action goals. This Coffee & Climate will be held on Zoom and you can sign up on the One Climate Future website

Comprehensive Plan

Yesterday was the last day to submit comments on the City’s draft Vision and Goals for the Comprehensive Plan, but the work is far from complete and there will be many more ways to get involved this winter and spring. The Comprehensive Plan Committee meets regularly and will spend their next four meetings finalizing the Vision and Goals. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings and there will be opportunity to provide public comment. These meetings will be Dec.11, Dec. 20, Jan. 17, and Jan. 31. Visit the Comp Plan website for more information.

Our Sustainable City is a recurring column in the Sentry intended to provide residents with news and information about sustainability initiatives in South Portland. Follow the Sustainability Office on Instagram @soposustainability

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