In economics, we learned about bonds being a type of IOU by which lenders are able to hold borrowers accountable to payment over a period of time and with interest.
Bonds can be used in variety of institutions. One of the new types of bonds that is becoming popular on the West Coast is Fossil Fuel Risk Bonds which aim to ensure that the polluter internalises all costs associated with fossil fuel storage and transportation. And also accounts for the risks to surrounding communities. In this way, these communities who are also most likely to be of low-income and comprised of people of colour are not burdened by these activities and would be compensated should a disastrous incident occur.
Multnomah County Commissioners recently came together on Thursday, 31st October to support a resolution that opposes the expansion of of fossil fuel infrastructure in Portland. This resolution aims to ensure that the fossil fuel industry takes full financial responsibility in the event of future accidents and spills.
Although it is just a resolution, this policy could become and ordinance and eventually a law. It has been reported that up to 380 million gallons of fossil fuels and chemicals, consisting of 90 percent of transportation fuel, used in the state of Oregon- are stored at the critical energy hub in NW Portland. Most of this infrastructure is decades old and would not withstand the imminent earthquake. Thus, having devastating impacts in the surrounding communities.
Reflecting on this event and the principle behind it causes me to think that it is expansive of the Portland Clean Energy Fund, whose members consist of groups representing minorities and low-income people. This coalition, in partnership with the City of Portland, aims to ensure that there is a just-transition and also justice as climate change’s impacts become more prevalent in society.