Category Archives: Climate Action

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Sets First-Ever National Goal of Zero-Emissions Freight Sector, Announces $1.5 Billion to Support Transition to Zero-Emission Heavy-Duty Vehicles 

The Biden-Harris Administration announced a first-ever national goal to transition to a zero-emissions freight sector for truck, rail, aviation and marine, along with a commitment to develop a national zero-emissions freight strategy, and announces nearly $1.5 billion in funding to support the transition to zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles. This fact sheet is provided by the White House:

Port of New York and New Jersey. The Biden-Harris Administration announced a first-ever national goal to transition to a zero-emissions freight sector for truck, rail, aviation and marine, along with a commitment to develop a national zero-emissions freight strategy, and announces nearly $1.5 billion in funding to support the transition to zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The U.S. freight system is vital to our nation’s economy. Trucks, ships, trains, and planes move 55 million tons of goods worth more than $49 billion every day, across a vast network that is essential to how Americans live and work. But while industry has made progress on reducing emissions from this sector, freight movement continues to represent a significant share of local air pollution, increasing the risk of asthma, heart disease, hospitalization, and other adverse health outcomes for the millions of Americans, especially overburdened communities, who live and work near highways, ports, railyards, warehouses, and other freight routes. The transportation sector is also the largest source of climate pollution in the U.S., with trucks and buses comprising nearly a quarter of emissions from the sector. That’s why President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is supporting solutions that address harmful pollution, and has spurred $165 billion of private sector investments in zero-emission vehicle technologies.
 
Building on this momentum, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a first-ever national goal to transition to a zero-emissions freight sector for truck, rail, aviation and marine, along with a commitment to develop a national zero-emissions freight strategy. This whole-of-government strategy includes new federal investments announced today, continued engagement with stakeholders on zero-emissions freight infrastructure, and forthcoming action plans on each of the freight segments. The strategy will prioritize actions to address air pollution hot spots and tackle the climate crisis, mobilizing a broad range of government resources, and reflect public participation and meaningful community engagement, furthering the President’s commitment to environmental justice for all. This new commitment to zero-emissions freight aligns with and supports President Biden’s existing goals for a carbon pollution-free energy sector by 2035 and for achieving net-zero emissions from the transportation sector by 2050.It also aligns with the Administration’s commitment to work with other countries to identify pathways and implementation actions that enable zero-emissions medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to reach 30 percent of new sales in 2030 and 100 percent of new sales by 2040. 

Investing in Zero-Emissions Freight Sector
 
The Administration also unveiled several key steps under the strategy, including major new funding programs, a new initiative to track and accelerate deployment of charging and refueling infrastructure, and a new program to standardize heavy-duty vehicle charging depots:
 
As part of this commitment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing today a nearly $1 billion funding opportunity for cities, states and Tribes through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to replace Class 6 and Class 7 heavy duty vehicles – which include school buses, trash trucks, and delivery trucks – with zero-emissions vehicles. The funding will support infrastructure to charge, fuel and maintain heavy-duty zero emission vehicles along with workforce development and training to get this work done. Under the requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act, at least $400 million of the program’s funding will serve communities dealing with significant air pollution. Projects supported through this program will reduce air and noise pollution, improve public health, and create good-paying clean energy jobs.  
 
The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the first tranche of its $400 million Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities Grant Program to improve air quality and reduce pollution for truck drivers, port workers and families that live in communities surrounding ports. The Department of Energy (DOE) is also announcing a $72 million investment to establish a “SuperTruck: Charged” program that will demonstrate how vehicle-grid integration enables depots and truck stops to provide affordable, reliable charging while increasing grid resiliency.
 
Convening Stakeholders to Accelerate the Transition to Zero-Emissions Freight
 
The Administration is bringing together stakeholders from commercial truck fleets, ports, vehicle manufacturers, state and local governments, utilities, infrastructure providers, climate and environmental justice organizations for a convening at the White House focused on supercharging the buildout of the infrastructure necessary to make a zero-emissions freight ecosystem a reality in the United States. Today’s convening on zero-emissions freight infrastructure is designed to launch a series of engagements aimed at tackling emissions from the movement of goods across the nation and recognizes the great progress made already by leaders in freight decarbonization. The roundtable will mobilize action towards successfully implementing the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy, with special attention paid to infrastructure targets from 2024 to 2027, and will provide Administration officials with insight into the opportunities and challenges facing communities looking to set actionable goals, integrate new planning methodologies, and protect people’s health.
 
Building on the Administration’s Freight Policies
 
The announcements build on the Administration’s ongoing work across federal agencies to tackle emissions from America’s freight system. 

  • Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization: In January 2023, DOE, EPA, DOT, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) jointly released the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization. Building on this work, the Biden-Haris Administration is coordinating with each of these agencies to draft a series of decarbonization strategies for each segment of the freight system.
     
  • Zero-Emissions Freight Corridor Strategy: Last month, the Joint Office, in collaboration with DOE, DOT, and EPA, released the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy, a vision for the development of charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure along high-volume freight highways and hubs by 2040. To complement this multi-phase strategy, DOT designated National Electric Vehicle Freight Corridors along the National Highway Freight Network and other key roadways.
     
  • Heavy Duty Vehicle Regulations: In December 2022, EPA finalized standards to reduce emissions that form smog and soot from Model Year 2027 and later heavy-duty engines and in March 2024, the agency finalized new greenhouse gas emission standards from heavy-duty vehicles for Model Years 2027-2032. The standards will avoid 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and provide $13 billion in annualized net benefits to society related to public health, the climate, and savings for truck owners and operators. The final standards will also reduce dangerous air pollution, especially for the 72 million people in the United States who live near truck freight routes, bear the burden of higher levels of pollution, and are more likely to be people of color or come from low-income households.

Advancing Environmental Justice for All
 
Throughout the process of building a strategy to implement this new goal to transition to a zero-emissions freight ecosystem, the Biden-Harris Administration will provide opportunities for meaningful engagement from relevant stakeholders, including communities with environmental justice concerns, Tribal Nations, state and local governments, manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles and equipment, fleets and freight operators, and climate and environmental justice organizations. Such engagement will ensure the federal government’s actions to reduce emissions are better targeted, more effective, and reflect the priorities of community groups that have frontline experience with air pollution from the freight sector.
 
Disparities in ambient air quality have widened over the last decade even as air pollution levels have fallen, and the burden of persistent levels of elevated air pollution remains more heavily borne by communities of color and low-income families. While 120 million Americans live in places with unhealthy air quality, a higher percentage of the exposed population are people of color, who experience nearly eight times higher rates of pediatric asthma and 1.3 times higher risk of dying prematurely from exposure to pollutants. High levels of air pollution are often found in neighborhoods ringed by factories or next to highways, despite most sources meeting emission standards.
 
President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that every person has a right to breathe clean air and live in a healthy community – now and into the future. That is why, during his first week in office, President Biden signed Executive Order 14008, launching the most ambitious environmental justice agenda in our Nation’s history. To continue delivering on that vision, last year President Biden signed Executive Order 14096 focused on ensuring environmental justice for all people, further embedding environmental justice into the work of federal agencies to achieve real, measurable progress that communities can count on.
 
As the Biden-Harris Administration leads an all-of-government approach to cut pollution from heavy-duty vehicles, it will build on ongoing work and structure to further advance environmental justice, including:

  • Commitment to Identifying and Investing in Disadvantaged Communities: Established in his first week in office, the President’s Justice40 Initiative set a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy, clean transit, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. To date, 518 programs across 19 federal agencies, including 74 Inflation Reduction Act-funded programs, are being reimagined and transformed to  meet the Justice40 goal and ensure the benefits reach the communities that need them most, including cleaner air and accessible public transit. Federal agencies are making this happen with the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, which is used to identify disadvantaged communities that benefit from the Justice40 Initiative.
     

Environmental Justice Across the Federal Government: Agencies across the Biden-Harris Administration, including DOT, DOE, and EPA, are pursuing a suite of actions that advance environmental justice, including through grants, strategic planning, and collaborative partnerships, and by strengthening public health protections under the Clean Air Act to reduce air pollution from mobile and stationary sources (e.g., revised ambient air quality standards, updated emission standards for passenger cars, commercial trucks and buses).

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Key Actions to Strengthen Electric Grid, Boost Clean Energy Deployment and Cut Dangerous Pollution from Power Sector

This fact sheet on what the Biden-Harris Administration is doing to strengthen the electric grid, boost clean energy deployment and create jobs, and cut dangerous pollution from the power sector was provided by the White House:

A solar array on a New York State farm. This month the EPA announced $20 billion in grant awards under two competitions from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to create a national network to fund tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across America, especially in communities historically left behind and overburdened by pollution. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Since Day One, President Biden has led and delivered on the most ambitious climate and environmental justice agenda in history, including securing the largest-ever climate investment. The power sector, which is responsible for a quarter of annual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, now has more tools than ever – including unprecedented financial support, efficient permitting, and long-term regulatory certainty – to reduce pollution and upgrade the grid to support more factories, electric vehicles, and other growing sources of electricity demand.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing key actions to build on this momentum and deliver clean electricity to more homes and businesses, helping lower energy costs for American families and power the U.S. manufacturing renaissance driven by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, while providing cleaner air and water to communities long overburdened by pollution from fossil fuel power plants.
 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a suite of standards to cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as toxic air pollution, water pollution, and land contamination from fossil fuel power plants. EPA’s greenhouse gas emission standards will avoid 1.38 billion metric tons of carbon pollution through 2047, equivalent to the annual emissions of 328 million gas cars, and together with the other standards will provide hundreds of billions of dollars in climate, environmental justice, and public health benefits, including fewer premature deaths, asthma cases, and lost work and school days. The standards announced today will ensure that power companies use modern, cost-effective technologies to reduce pollution and protect the health and wellbeing of communities, including communities historically overburdened by pollution.
 
The Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing up to $331 million through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for a new transmission line that will be built with union labor – the latest awards from the Administration’s $30 billion investment in strengthening America’s electric grid infrastructure. A capacity contract from the Transmission Facilitation Program (TFP) will support a new 285-mile transmission line from Idaho to Nevada, bringing more than 2,000 Megawatts of needed transmission capacity to the region. The Southwest Intertie Project-North is expected to provide hundreds of jobs to workers with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
 
Alongside this critical investment, DOE is releasing a final rule to make federal permitting of new transmission lines more efficient, ensuring meaningful engagement with Tribes, local communities, and other stakeholders. The rule establishes the Coordinated Interagency Transmission Authorization and Permits (CITAP) program, which aims to improve coordination across agencies, create efficiencies, and establish a standard two-year timeline for federal transmission authorizations and permits. The CITAP program gives transmission developers a new option for a more efficient review process, a major step to provide increased confidence for the sector to invest in new transmission lines.
 
DOE is also issuing a final rule to create an even faster track for completing environmental reviews of upgrades to existing transmission lines, which will increase reliability and lower energy costs. The rule creates a categorical exclusion, the simplest form of review under the National Environmental Policy Act, for projects that use existing transmission rights of way, such as reconductoring projects, as well as for solar and energy storage projects on already disturbed lands.
 
Additionally, today, the Administration is launching an effort to mobilize public and private sector leaders to expand the capacity of the existing U.S. transmission network, setting an ambition to upgrade 100,000 miles of transmission lines over the next five years. The Administration has made funding available through the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) program to support upgrades to existing transmission lines, and DOE’s categorical exclusion issued today will speed up the process to upgrade existing lines. The power sector can achieve this ambition primarily by deploying modern grid technologies like high-performance conductors and dynamic line ratings that enable existing transmission lines to carry more power. As a complement to building new lines, deploying solutions like these offer fast and cost-effective ways to unlock hundreds of gigawatts of additional clean energy, increase system reliability and resilience, reduce grid congestion, and cut energy costs.
 
These efforts all work in tandem – historic investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that are making America a magnet for clean energy investment; continued permitting progress to get projects up and running; and smart standards to provide rules of the road for power companies, enabling them to seize the unprecedented opportunities to deliver clean electricity across the country. These steps – which are part of a broader slate of Earth Week announcements – build on President Biden’s actions since Day One to tackle the climate crisis and advance environmental justice.
 
Upgrading the Electric Grid for Reliability and Resilience
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is delivering the largest investment in grid infrastructure in history—more than $30 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These investments will help deliver reliable, affordable electricity to families and businesses, prepare for worsening natural disasters that strain the grid, and unlock the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy. To help expand the transmission system at the pace necessary to confront the climate crisis, today’s actions and additional recent steps will help streamline permitting and overcome financial hurdles:
 

  • Completing a New Transmission Line: Today the Department of the Interior (DOI) is celebrating the completion of the Ten West Link transmission line from Arizona to California. The line began transmitting electricity today and will increase reliability and unlock more than 3,200 megawatts of capacity from solar projects. DOI approved the construction of this project in 2022.
     
  • Continuing to Invest in Grid Upgrades: Last week applications closed for up to $2.7 billion in DOE grant funding under the second round of the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program for projects to upgrade and modernize the transmission and distribution system to increase reliability and resilience. This builds upon $3.46 billion in projects selected for grid upgrades in October 2023, which are funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
     
  • Charting the Future of the Grid to Meet Emerging Challenges: Last week DOE released the 2024 Future of Resource Adequacy Report to lay out solutions to meet increasing electricity demand while cutting emissions and maintaining affordability. DOE also released the Innovative Grid Deployment Liftoff Report to chart pathways to deployment of modern, commercially available transmission and distribution technologies that could support 20 to 100 gigawatts of peak demand.

Revitalizing U.S. Manufacturing and Securing Clean Energy Supply Chains
Thanks to incentives from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the clean energy future will be made in America. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, private companies have invested almost $80 billion in clean energy manufacturing. Strengthening U.S. clean energy supply chains not only benefits American workers but also makes it easier to deploy clean energy even faster to cut emissions. Recent actions continue the progress to build and secure domestic supply chains and ensure that the U.S. will lead the world in clean energy manufacturing:
 

  • Expanding U.S. Clean Energy Manufacturing and Creating Good-Paying Jobs: The Treasury Department and DOE recently announced $4 billion in Inflation Reduction Act tax credit allocations for over 100 manufacturing projects across 35 states under the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Tax Credit (48C). This includes projects to manufacture transformers and grid components, electric vehicle components and chargers, and transmission cables, produce clean steel, and process critical minerals and materials. These allocations include $1.5 billion for projects in historic energy communities that have experienced closure of coal mines and power plants.
     
  • Securing the U.S. Nuclear Fuel Supply Chain: Last week, DOE announced several milestones on the path to establish a domestic fuel supply chain for nuclear energy and reduce our reliance on imports. DOE recently closed the requests for proposal to purchase high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) needed for advanced nuclear reactors, which is part of a $700 million program secured through the Inflation Reduction Act. Moreover, an enrichment plant (located in Piketon, Ohio) produced the first 100 kilograms of civilian HALEU ever in the United States with future plans to expand to 900 kilograms. U.S. capabilities will increase further thanks to an additional $2.7 billion made available from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in the Fiscal Year 2024 Energy and Water Development, which, when paired with $2.2 billion from France and the United Kingdom meets and exceeds a commitment made last fall at COP28 to pool funds to develop a safe and secure global supply chain.

 
Deploying Clean Energy to Meet America’s Power Needs
The President’s Investing in America agenda has unleashed unprecedented investment in deployment of clean energy technologies, attracting hundreds of billions of dollars in private sector investment and creating over 270,000 new clean energy jobs. The Administration is taking additional steps to accelerate buildout of clean energy and remove roadblocks to deployment to ensure that new clean energy resources can come online fast to meet growing demand. Recent actions include:
 

  • Accelerating Offshore Wind Deployment: Yesterday DOI announced plans for the next five years of offshore wind leasing, as well as a final rule to modernize offshore wind regulations. Over the next 20 years, the final rule is expected to result in cost savings of roughly $1.9 billion to the offshore renewable energy industry, savings that can be passed onto consumers or used to invest in additional job-creating clean energy projects.  Additionally, DOE released the Offshore Wind Liftoff Report, charting a path to success for the next wave of projects through continued innovation and cost reductions, along with DOE’s latest steps to support offshore wind manufacturing and transmission development.  Through these actions, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to support state leadership and use every tool available to responsibly grow an American offshore wind industry that will create thousands of good-paying jobs, including federal investments and approvals under President Biden’s leadership of 10 gigawatts of commercial-scale offshore wind projects, with the first two already providing power to the grid, as well as over 1 million acres newly leased to provide offshore wind opportunities for years ahead.
     
  • Promoting Development of Renewable Energy on Public Lands: This month DOI issued a final rule to reduce fees for solar and wind projects on public lands by 80 percent and announced that DOI has now permitted more than 25 gigawatts of clean energy projects on public lands, surpassing a major milestone ahead of 2025.
     
  • Speeding Up Process to Connect New Power Plants to the Grid: Last week DOE released the Transmission Interconnection Roadmap, a first-of-its-kind report laying out solutions to accelerate the process to connect clean energy projects to the grid and reduce wait times for new solar, wind, and battery projects. The Roadmap complements $10 million that DOE recently made available for analytical tools and other approaches to accelerate the interconnection process. Additionally, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is moving forward to implement a series of major transmission reforms, including a final rule to streamline the interconnection process.
     
  • Taking Advantage of Extensive Geothermal Energy Resources:  Last week DOI adopted categorical exclusions to expedite the review and approval of geothermal energy exploration on public lands. In addition, DOE recently released a new Pathways to Commercial Liftoff report on geothermal power, which showed how U.S. geothermal energy production could grow by a factor of 20 to 90 Gigawatts by 2050.
     
  • Improving the State and Local Renewable Energy Siting Process: Last week DOE opened a funding opportunity for state-based collaboratives to build capacity to improve renewable energy planning and siting processes. This funding, supported by the Inflation Reduction Act, will accelerate the siting process to bring renewable energy online faster while improving outcomes for host communities, local governments, and disadvantaged communities.

 
Ensuring All Communities Benefit from Clean Energy
From Day One, President Biden has prioritized ensuring that all communities benefit from clean energy deployment, including the energy communities and workers that have powered our nation for generations and the low-income households that are burdened with high energy bills. The Administration has followed through on these commitments—not just talking about coal and power plant communities but investing in them. The President’s Investing in America agenda is creating good-paying and union jobs in energy communities, bringing solar energy to low-income households to reduce energy bills, supporting community engagement and improved outcomes for state and local permitting, and increasing grid reliability and resilience through distributed energy solutions. The President’s Justice40 Initiative sets a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal in climate, clean energy, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that have been marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. Recent actions continue this progress:
 

  • Reducing Energy Bills for Low-Income Households: This week the EPA announced $7 billion to deploy solar energy for low-income communities through the Solar for All program, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act. The 60 selections will provide funding to support 60 states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits to enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to benefit from solar, cutting annual electricity bills by more than $350 million for low-income households, creating an estimated 200,000 jobs, and increasing grid reliability.
     
  • Deploying Clean Energy in Energy Communities: DOE recently announced up to $475 million for five projects in Arizona, Kentucky, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to accelerate clean energy deployment on current and former mine lands. The projects, supported by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will deploy geothermal, pumped-storage hydropower, solar, and battery storage and will spur new economic opportunities in communities that have helped power the nation for generations.
     
  • Building Opportunities for Coal and Power Plant Communities to Continue Powering America: DOE recently released an information guide and technical study for communities and stakeholders who are considering replacing their coal plants with nuclear. Coal-to-nuclear transition can significantly reduce the cost of nuclear plant construction, while creating new high-paying jobs, increasing community income and revenue, and improving public health. DOE’s study found that, with adequate planning and training support, most workers at an existing coal plant should be able to transition to work at a replacement nuclear plant.
     
  • Building a National Network to Finance Local Clean Energy Projects: This month the EPA announced $20 billion in grant awards under two competitions from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to create a national network to fund tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across America, especially in communities historically left behind and overburdened by pollution. One selectee, the Green Bank for Rural America, will help bring clean energy to rural America and energy communities, with a particular focus on Appalachia, helping ensure that the communities that have powered the nation for a century do not get left behind in the energy transition.
     
  • Funding Microgrids for Tribal Communities:  DOE recently announced a $72.8 million conditional commitment to fund a solar-plus-storage microgrid on the Tribal lands of the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians. This will reduce the cost of energy, power local commercial business, create 250 construction jobs prioritizing Tribal, minority and veteran-owned contractors, and enhance the Tribal energy sovereignty.
     

Advancing Environmental Justice: Through the Justice40 Initiative, 518 programs across 19 federal agencies are being reimagined and transformed to ensure the benefits reach the communities that need them most. Federal agencies are making this happen with the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, which is used to identify communities that benefit from the Justice40 Initiative.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Marks Earth Day 2024 with Historic Climate Action

On Earth Day, President Biden is  traveling to Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, VA, a national park system site developed by FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps, to announce $7 billion in awards through EPA’s Solar for All program and unveil major steps to advance the American Climate Corps. This Fact Sheet outlining President Biden’s historic climate actions was provided by the White House :

Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons are among the 41 million acres of public lands which President Joe Biden has protected, including lands sacred to Tribal peoples, and has set a target of protecting 30 percent of land by 2030. On Earth Day, the Biden Administration announced a rule requires the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 245 million acres of public land, that conservation and recreation —of natural habitat, cultural resources, recreation areas—be on equal footing with resource extraction in granting licenses © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

When President Biden took office, he pledged to restore America’s climate leadership at home and abroad. On his first day in office, the President signed the United States back into the Paris Agreement. And each day since, the Biden-Harris Administration has continued to lead and deliver on the most ambitious climate agenda in history, including securing the largest ever climate investment and unleashing a clean energy manufacturing boom that has attracted hundreds of billions in private sector investment and created over 270,000 new clean energy jobs. The President’s agenda is also advancing environmental justice and ensuring that the benefits of climate investments reach overburdened communities, mobilizing the next generation of clean energy workers through the American Climate Corps, and delivering historic investments in our nation’s climate resilience. At the same time, the Administration is protecting America’s natural wonders, conserving more than 41 million acres of lands and waters.  

Building on his climate, clean energy, and environmental justice agenda, President Biden will travel today to Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia, to celebrate Earth Day 2024, and highlight his Administration’s unprecedented progress in tackling the climate crisis, cutting costs for everyday Americans, and creating good-paying jobs.

Expanding Access to Affordable Solar Energy

The President will announce $7 billion in grants through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Solar for All grant competition, a key component of the Inflation Reduction Act’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Selectees under the Solar for All program will serve every state and territory in the nation and deliver residential solar power to over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities, saving overburdened households more than $350 million in electricity costs annually – approximately $400 per household – and avoiding more than 30 million metric tons of carbon pollution over the next 25 years.

The selectees will provide funds to states, territories, Tribes, municipalities, and nonprofits across the country to develop long-lasting solar programs that enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy and benefit from distributed residential solar. In total, solar projects funded by this program will create nearly 200,000 jobs. The program also advances the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.   

Mobilizing the Next Generation of Climate Leaders through the American Climate Corps

Joined by future members of President Biden’s American Climate Corps, including current AmeriCorps members, President Biden will also announce several new actions to stand up the American Climate Corps – a groundbreaking initiative modeled after FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps that will put more than 20,000 young Americans to work fighting the impacts of climate change today while gaining the skills they need to join the growing clean energy and climate-resilience workforce of tomorrow. The President will announce these actions at Prince William Forest Park, a national park system site developed by FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps and stewarded by the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service.

Nearly a century after FDR established the Civilian Conservation Corps, President Biden will announce today that Americans can now apply to join the American Climate Corps through a newly launched website, ClimateCorps.gov. The website will feature nearly 2,000 positions located across 36 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. These positions are hosted by hundreds of organizations advancing clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience. The website, which is launching in its beta form, will be regularly updated with new American Climate Corps positions. Its goal is to make it easy for any American to find work tackling the climate crisis while gaining the skills necessary for the clean energy and climate resilience workforce of the future. The first class of the American Climate Corps will be deployed to communities across the country in June 2024.

The Biden-Harris Administration is also announcing a new partnership with the North America’s Building Trades Unions’ nonprofit partner TradesFutures. Beginning this summer, every American Climate Corps member will have access to TradesFutures’ industry leading apprenticeship readiness curriculum during their term of service in the American Climate Corps, providing members with the opportunity to be trained in the foundational skills necessary for careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy and putting them on a pathway to good paying, union jobs.

Many American Climate Corps members will also have access to a streamlined pathway into federal service after a recent update to modernize the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Pathways Programs. The update will expand applicant eligibility for the Recent Graduates program to include individuals who have completed qualifying career or technical education service within designated American Climate Corps programs.

Today, three states – Vermont, New Mexico, and Illinois – are launching new state-based climate corps programs, building on 10 states that have already launched successful climate corps programs, demonstrating the power of skills-based training as a tool to expand pathways into good-paying jobs. These states will work with the American Climate Corps as implementing partners to ensure young people across the country are serving their communities, while participating in paid opportunities and working on projects to tackle climate change.

Additionally, beginning as a collaboration between the Department of the Interior, the Energy Communities Interagency Working Group, and AmeriCorps VISTA, a new interagency public private partnership – Energy Communities AmeriCorps – will place American Climate Corps members in priority energy communities across the country. The program will help support community-led projects, including environmental remediation, in the places that have powered our nation for generations.

Conserving America’s Lands, Waters, and Wildlife

These announcements come on the heels of a series of major conservation actions by the Biden-Harris Administration. Just last week, the Department of the Interior published a final rule to maximize protections of significant surface resources such as irreplaceable wildlife habitat for caribou and migratory birds on more than 13 million acres in the western Arctic while supporting subsistence uses and needs of Alaska Native communities. This action brings the number of acres of America’s lands and waters conserved under President Biden to 41 million. Additionally, the Interior Department released a final environmental analysis last week recommending denial of a right of way for the Ambler Road project; the proposed road, which would cross more than 200 miles of pristine lands, would have significant impacts on caribou and other subsistence resources upon which more than 60 Alaska Native communities rely.

In addition to these landmark conservation announcements in Alaska, the Interior Department released a rule to help guide the balanced management of all 245 million acres of America’s public lands that are overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. The rule will help to ensure the BLM continues to protect land health while managing other uses of public lands, such as clean energy development and outdoor recreation.

Throughout Earth Week, the Biden-Harris Administration will announce additional actions to build a stronger, healthier future for all: Tuesday will focus on helping ensure clean water for all communities; Wednesday will focus on accelerating America’s clean transportation future; Thursday will focus on steps to cut pollution from the power sector while strengthening America’s electricity grid; and Friday will focus on providing cleaner air and healthier schools for all children.

Biden-Harris Administration’s Top Climate Accomplishments

Deploying Clean, Affordable Electricity and Strengthening America’s Power Grid – 
President Biden has secured unprecedented investments in a clean power sector, unleashing a boom in American solar, wind, battery storage, and other clean energy technologies that are creating good-paying jobs and saving families money on utility bills. Through the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, U.S. solar generation is projected to increase up to eight-fold and wind generation is projected to triple by 2030. President Biden has jumpstarted the U.S. offshore wind industry, with 10 gigawatts of commercial-scale projects now approved, enough to power nearly four million homes, including two projects that are already delivering power to the grid and others with construction underway. The President’s Investing in America agenda is also supporting transmission buildout and other power grid upgrades, deployment of distributed energy resources in disadvantaged communities, investments in clean electricity across rural America, and American manufacturing of clean energy technologies – all in pursuit of the President’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. Through the President’s Federal Sustainability Plan, the U.S. Government is leading by example and has already signed agreements to provide federal facilities in 18 states with 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030.

And thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, clean energy project developers get access to expanded tax incentives if they pay workers prevailing wages and employ registered apprentices, helping make more clean energy jobs good-paying and union jobs.

Bolstering Climate Resilience and Adaptation – President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is building communities that are not only resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis, but also safer, more equitable, and economically stronger. To support this vision, the President secured more than $50 billion for climate resilience and adaptation through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act and released the first ever National Climate Resilience Framework. The President’s investments are upgrading aging roads and bridges, including critical evacuation routes, providing tax credits for families to weatherize their homes, restoring critical waterways, forests, and urban greenspaces, supporting resilient and climate-smart agriculture, bolstering water infrastructure and drought resilience across the American West, protecting federal assets from future flood riskmodernizing our electric grid, and funding research to develop the latest energy-storage technologies here in America.

Accelerating a Clean Transportation Future – President Biden is taking a whole-of-government approach to position the U.S. as a global leader in innovative and sustainable transportation.  The Administration’s National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization is a landmark strategy for cutting all greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. transportation sector by 2050. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act invest tens of billions to decarbonize shippingtruckingtransitrail, and aviation, all while making communities more walkablebikeable, and connected. And through the President’s Federal Sustainability Plan, the federal government has ordered over 58,000 zero-emission vehicles and has begun installing more than 25,000 charging ports, adding to the 8,000 already in use across the government.

In addition, the President rallied automakers and autoworkers around a historic goal of having electric vehicles (EVs) account for at least 50% of new passenger vehicles sold by 2030. To support this goal while driving down consumer costs, the Administration secured tax credits that reduce the cost of new or used clean vehicles by thousands of dollars directly at the dealership and is investing $7.5 billion into building out a national EV charging network. Since President Biden took office, EV sales have quadrupled, prices have come down by more than 20%, the number of charging stations has grown by over 80% – putting us on track to deploy 500,000 chargers by 2026 – and the U.S. auto industry has added more than 100,000 jobs. Driven by Biden-Harris Administration policies, the sector is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance with more than $160 billion of investments in EVs, batteries, and their supply chains. And just last month, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the strongest-ever vehicle emission standards for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles.

Cutting Energy Costs and Pollution at Homes, Schools, and in Communities – Reducing building emissions through efficiency improvements and electrification lowers energy bills for families, improves resiliency, and creates good-paying jobs. The President has created new programs to save American families on their energy bills through the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Rebates, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Green and Resilient Retrofit Program, and Treasury’s Home Energy Tax Credits. The Biden-Harris Administration is also strengthening energy efficiency standards to save households and businesses money, with standards updated by DOE for dozens of appliances expected to provide nearly $1 trillion in consumer savings over 30 years, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5 billion metric tons – equivalent to the emissions of 18 million gas-powered cars over 30 years. By invoking emergency authority, the President is expanding domestic heat pump manufacturing, which will cut the costs of heat pumps. To ensure that the 10 million new homes that will be built by 2030 are efficient and resilient, President Biden’s National Initiative to Advance Building Codes is accelerating adoption of modern building codes that protect people from extreme-weather events and help contribute to avoiding an estimated $1.6 billion a year in damages.

Revitalizing American Manufacturing for the Clean Economy – President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has helped catalyze historic manufacturing growth, with factories opening across the nation. To date, the private sector has announced nearly $700 billion in investments in manufacturing and clean energy. The President’s agenda is helping to make U.S. manufacturing the cleanest and most competitive in the world. The Inflation Reduction Act is investing more than $6 billion to slash climate pollution and support worker and community health at U.S. factories producing the steel, aluminum, cement, and other materials that form the backbone of our economy. To further support U.S. industrial competitiveness, the Biden Administration’s landmark Buy Clean initiative is leveraging the government’s sway as the largest purchaser on Earth to spur demand for low-emissions manufacturing and construction products.

Repowering EnergyCommunities – The Biden-Harris Administration is deploying programs to build capacity and spur economic development in the communities that powered our nation for generations, such as the clean manufacturing investments in the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C) Program and DOE’s Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grants Program, in addition to ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative and EDA’s Assistance to Energy Transition Communities. In addition, new bonus tax credits in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act are incentivizing clean energy companies to expand access to good-paying jobs in energy communities across the nation.

Advancing Environmental Justice –  Since Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized a whole-of-government approach to environmental justice. The President signed a historic Executive Order that calls on the federal government to bring clean energy and healthy environments to all and mitigate harm to those who have suffered from pollution and environmental burdens like climate change. Through the Justice40 Initiative, over 500 programs across 19 federal agencies are being reimagined and transformed to maximize the benefits of President Biden’s unprecedented investments – from clean energy projects to floodwater protections to wastewater infrastructure – to communities that need them most. At the same time, the Administration is taking unprecedented action to protect communities from PFAS pollutionaccelerate Superfund and brownfield cleanupstighten standards for hazardous air pollutants, and enhance air quality enforcement.

Delivering Clean Water and Replacing Lead Pipes – President Biden and Vice President Harris are fighting to ensure a future where every American has access to clean, safe water. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests over $50 billion in upgrading the nation’s water infrastructure – the largest investment in clean water in American history. This funding is going towards expanding access to clean drinking water, replacing lead pipes, improving wastewater and sanitation infrastructure, and removing PFAS pollution in waterPresident Biden has also made a historic commitment to replace every toxic lead pipe in the country within a decade, protecting families from lead poisoning that can irreversibly harm brain development in children. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency issued proposed improvements to the Lead and Copper Rule that would require water systems to rapidly replace lead service lines.

Conserving our Lands and Waters –The Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic action to conserve and restore America’s lands and waters, including signing an Executive Order to set the first-ever national conservation goal to conserve at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 through the America the Beautiful Initiative. Last week the Administration launched Conservation.gov and the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, a new website and data portal that will help connect people with information, tools, resources, and opportunities to support land and water conservation projects in communities across the country. The Administration has already protected more than 41 million acres of lands and waters, and President Biden is on track to conserve more lands and waters than any President in history. This includes establishing five new national monuments and restoring protections for three more; creating four new national wildlife refuges and expanding five more; protecting the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, the nation’s most visited wilderness area; safeguarding Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska; and withdrawing Chaco Canyon in New Mexico and Thompson Divide in Colorado from further oil and gas leasing to protect thousands of sacred sites and pristine lands.

To conserve and steward old growth forests, USDA announced a proposal to amend 128 forest land management plans to conserve and steward old-growth forest conditions on national forests and grasslands nationwide. This builds upon the Biden-Harris Administration’s protection of Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. The Administration is also taking continued action to protect and conserve our nation’s rivers and watersheds for the people and communities that depend on them, protecting the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River Basin in the face of an ongoing megadrought, and beyond. This includes taking historic action to restore healthy and abundant wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin, part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s unprecedented commitment to honor the United States’ obligations to Tribal Nations.

Investing in Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry – President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is supporting America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, who play a critical role in addressing the climate crisis through the deployment of climate-smart practices and systems. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA has supported 80,000 farms in implementing climate-smart practices on over 75 million acres. In Fiscal Year 2023, USDA made record investments in private lands conservation, totaling nearly $3 billion in financial assistance to producers.  Leveraging both climate impact and economic opportunities, the Administration is creating new market opportunities through the groundbreaking Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities and efforts that are part of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Grand Challenge.

Rallying Leaders of the World’s Largest Economies to Raise Global Climate Ambition –President Biden has restored America’s climate leadership at home and abroad. Under his leadership, the Administration is securing commitments from more than 155 countries to reduce methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030; successfully galvanizing other countries at COP28 to commit, for the first time, to transition away from unabated fossil fuels, stop building new unabated coal capacity globally, and triple renewable energy globally by 2030 and nuclear energy by 2050; launching a new Clean Energy Supply Chain Collaborative to work with international partners to diversify supply chains that are critical to a clean and secure energy transition; mobilizing other governments to follow the U.S. lead and commit to achieve net-zero government emissions by 2050 through a new Net-Zero Government Initiative; and becoming a world leader in innovative debt-for-nature swaps that have helped countries restructure over $2 billion in debt and unlock hundreds of millions of new financing for nature and climate.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Historic $20 Billion in Awards to Expand Access to Clean Energy and Climate Solutions and Lower Energy Costs

First-of-its-kind national network to fund tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across America, especially in communities historically left behind and overburdened by pollution

Climate United Fund’s program will focus on investing in harder-to-reach market segments like consumers, small businesses, small farms, community facilities, and schools—with at least 60% of its investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities, 20% in rural communities, and 10% in Tribal communities. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com


Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan announced s $20 billion in awards to stand up a national financing network that will fund tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across the country, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

This investment is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a first-of-its-kind and national-scale $27 billion program funded through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to combat the climate crisis by catalyzing public and private capital for projects that slash harmful climate pollution, improve air quality, lower energy costs, and create good-paying jobs. This program will ensure communities across the country have access to the capital they need to participate in and benefit from a cleaner, more sustainable economy.
 
Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan were joined by Governor Roy Cooper, Mayor Vi Lyles, and Congresswoman Alma Adams in Charlotte, North Carolina to announce the selections under these two grant competitions.
 
This historic investment will support a wide range of climate and clean energy projects, including distributed clean power generation and storage, net-zero retrofits of homes and small businesses, and zero-emission transportation, all of which can lower energy costs for families and improve housing affordability while tackling the climate crisis. Collectively, the selected applicants have committed to reducing or avoiding up to 40 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually over the next seven years, contributing toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic climate goals. In addition, selectees plan to mobilize almost $7 of private capital for every $1 of federal fundsapproximately $150 billion total—ensuring that today’s awards will have a catalytic, ongoing effect on the deployment of climate and clean energy technologies at scale, particularly in underserved communities.
 
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which sets the goal that 40% of the overall benefits from certain federal climate, clean energy, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. At least 70% of the funds announced today—over $14 billion of capital—will be invested in low-income and disadvantaged communities, including historic energy communities that have powered our nation for over a century, communities with environmental justice concerns, communities of color, low-income communities, rural communities, Tribal communities, and more. This makes the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund the single largest non-tax investment within the Inflation Reduction Act to build a clean energy economy while benefiting communities historically left behind.
 
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are already attempting to roll back these historic investments. Last month, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1023, which would repeal the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. On March 19, President Biden issued a Statement of Administration Policy with his intent to veto that bill if it were to pass the Senate and come to his desk.
 
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Selectees
 
The $20 billion in awards announced today will be deployed through eight selected applicants across two separate and complementary programs under EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund—the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) and the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA). Together, the two programs will create a first-of-its-kind national network of mission-driven, community-led financial institutions that will finance climate and clean energy projects across the country, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
 
Under the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF), selected applicants will partner with the private sector, community organizations, and others to provide accessible, affordable financing for new clean technology projects nationwide. While EPA required that at least 40 percent of NCIF funds flow to low-income and disadvantaged communities, each selected applicant significantly surpassed that requirement. Therefore, almost 60 percent of NCIF funds will flow to the communities that need it most. The three NCIF selectees are:
 

  • Climate United Fund ($6.97 billion award), a nonprofit formed by Calvert Impact to partner with two U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Self-Help Ventures Fund and Community Preservation Corporation. Together, these three nonprofit financial institutions bring a decades-long track record of successfully raising and deploying $30 billion in capital with a focus on low-income and disadvantaged communities. Climate United Fund’s program will focus on investing in harder-to-reach market segments like consumers, small businesses, small farms, community facilities, and schools—with at least 60% of its investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities, 20% in rural communities, and 10% in Tribal communities.
     
  • Coalition for Green Capital ($5 billion award), a nonprofit with almost 15 years of experience helping establish and work with dozens of state, local, and nonprofit green banks that have already catalyzed $20 billion into qualified projects—and that have a pipeline of $30 billion of demand for green bank capital that could be coupled with more than twice that in private investment. The Coalition for Green Capital’s program will have particular emphasis on public-private investing and will leverage the existing and growing national network of green banks as a key distribution channel for investment—with at least 50% of investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
     
  • Power Forward Communities ($2 billion award), a nonprofit coalition formed by five of the country’s most trusted housing, climate, and community investment groups that is dedicated to decarbonizing and transforming American housing to save homeowners and renters money, reinvest in communities, and tackle the climate crisis. The coalition members—Enterprise Community Partners, LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), Rewiring America, Habitat for Humanity, and United Way—will draw on their decades of experience, which includes deploying over $100 billion in community-based initiatives and investments, to build and lead a national financing program providing customized and affordable solutions for single-family and multi-family housing owners and developers—with at least 75% of investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

 
Through the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA), selected applicants will establish hubs that provide funding and technical assistance to community lenders working to finance clean technology projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities—leading to near-term deployment of climate and clean energy projects while building the capacity of community lenders to finance projects at scale for years to come. 100 percent of CCIA funds will flow to low-income and disadvantaged communities. The five selectees of the CCIA are:

  • Opportunity Finance Network ($2.29 billion award), a ~40-year-old nonprofit CDFI Intermediary that provides capital and capacity building for a national network of 400+ community lenders—predominantly U.S. Treasury-certified CDFI Loan Funds—which collectively hold $42 billion in assets and serve all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories.
     
  • Inclusiv ($1.87 billion award), a ~50-year-old nonprofit CDFI Intermediary that provides capital and capacity building for a national network of 900+ mission-driven, regulated credit unions—which include CDFIs and financial cooperativas in Puerto Rico—that collectively manage $330 billion in assets and serve 23 million individuals across the country.
     
  • Native CDFI Network ($400 million award), a nonprofit that serves as national voice and advocate for the 60+ U.S. Treasury-certified Native CDFIs, which have a presence in 27 states across rural reservation communities as well as urban communities and have a mission to address capital access challenges in Native communities.
     
  • Justice Climate Fund ($940 million award), a purpose-built nonprofit supported by an existing ecosystem of coalition members, a national network of more than 1,200 community lenders, and ImpactAssets—an experienced nonprofit with $3 billion under management—to provide responsible, clean energy-focused capital and capacity building to community lenders across the country.
     
  • Appalachian Community Capital ($500 million award), a nonprofit CDFI with a decade of experience working with community lenders in Appalachian communities, which is launching the Green Bank for Rural America to deliver clean capital and capacity building assistance to hundreds of community lenders working in coal, energy, underserved rural, and Tribal communities across the United States.

 
Expanding Access to Clean Energy
 
Today’s historic Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund announcement builds on a range of innovative tools and programs in President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that aim to empower the communities that can benefit most from new investments to take an active role in building the clean energy economy. These programs leverage a range of approaches to make it easier and more affordable for states, cities, Tribes, schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses of all sizes to build, own, and benefit from cost-saving clean energy projects, invest in energy efficiency improvements, expand access to clean transportation, and participate fully in decisions that affect underserved communities and populations.
 
For example:

  • In March, the Treasury Department finalized rules for direct pay—a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that enables, for the first time, tax-exempt entities like states, cities, Tribes, counties, territories, nonprofit organizations, public schools, hospitals, rural electric co-operatives, and more to access clean energy tax credits and fully participate in building and owning new clean energy projects. For example:
     
  • To meet its goal of 100% carbon free operations by 2030, the City of Madison, Wisconsin is planning to access $13 million via direct pay to support transitioning their municipal fleet to low and no-carbon vehicles, as well as for solar and geothermal energy projects.
     
  • The City of San Antonio, Texas is taking advantage of direct pay to build and own the largest municipal onsite solar project in Texas. This $30 million project will install roof top, parking, and park canopy solar photovoltaic systems at 42 city facilities to lower their energy costs and energy consumption and make progress toward their goal of achieving net-zero energy for all municipal buildings by 2040.
     
  • The Inflation Reduction Act’s transferability provision allows businesses to transfer all or a portion of certain clean energy tax credits to a third-party in exchange for cash, so that small businesses, start-ups, and other entities without sufficient tax liability may still take advantage of the credits. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has already registered more than 45,000 new projects seeking to benefit from this new tool, which is lowering financing costs for clean energy projects and helping accelerate the buildout of the clean energy economy.
     
  • The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program created by the Inflation Reduction Act promotes cost-saving clean energy investments in low-income communities, on Tribal lands, as part of affordable housing developments, and that benefit low-income households by providing a 10 to 20 percentage point bonus credit for up to 1.8 GW of small clean energy projects per year. In the first year of the program, the administration received more than 46,000 applications for allocations, signaling robust market demand to build projects serving low-income communities. The second year of the program will open for applications later this spring.
     
  • In March, the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) offered its first conditional commitment through the Tribal Energy Financing Program, which was expanded and provided new loan authority by the Inflation Reduction Act to support tribal entities in building out energy infrastructure. LPO announced up to $72.8 million for a partial loan guarantee to finance the development of a solar-plus long-duration energy storage microgrid on the Tribal lands of the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians near Alpine, California. 
     
  • Last week, LPO offered its first conditional commitment through the Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment Program under Title 17 Clean Energy Financing Section 1706, first authorized and appropriated by the Inflation Reduction Act, to finance projects that retool, repower, repurpose, or replace energy infrastructure that has ceased operations or enable operating energy infrastructure to reduce pollution. These projects direct new investment in historical energy communities that have powered our nation for over a century. Last week’s offer of a conditional commitment of up to $1.52 billion for a loan guarantee to Holtec Palisades will finance the restoration and resumption of service of an 800-MW electric nuclear generating station in Covert Township, Michigan that closed in May 2022 and upgrade it to produce baseload clean power for decades to come. 
     
  • Last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Acting Secretary Todman traveled to Chicago to announce that the Department has now awarded more than half of the nearly $1 billion provided through the Inflation Reduction Act to make homes more energy-efficient, comfortable, and climate resilient for low-income Americans. The Green and Resilient Retrofit Program makes grants and loans to finance energy and climate renovations in HUD-assisted multifamily housing for low-income individuals, families, and seniors.
     
  • Since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested more than $1.8 billion through their Rural Energy for America Program, which provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to adopt clean energy and save money. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act invests more than $2 billion to expand this program, and USDA just announced the latest tranche of over $120 million in awards for projects in 44 states last week.
     
  • In December 2023, EPA announced 11 grant makers to receive $600 million from the Inflation Reduction Act through the Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program to offer subgrants for environmental justice projects to local community-based organizations around the country. This new program is designed to make it easier for small community-based organizations to access federal environmental justice funding and responds to feedback about the need to reduce barriers to federal funds and improve the efficiency of the awards process to benefit underserved communities. 
     

In November 2023, EPA announced approximately $2 billion in funding available to support community-driven projects that deploy clean energy, strengthen climate resilience, and build capacity for communities to tackle environmental and climate justice challenges. The Community Change Grants Program is the single largest investment in environmental justice going directly to communities in history, and will advance collaborative efforts to achieve a healthier, safer, and more prosperous future for all. 

Environmentalists Endorse Tom Suozzi in Feb. 13 Special Election for Congress NY-03 Citing Record, Policies

Tom Suozzi, seeking to return to Congress representing NY-03, receives endorsements from leading environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, and New York League of Conservation Voters © Karen Rubin/news-photo-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features, [email protected]

Glen Cove, NY – Former US Congressman Tom Suozzi today held a press conference to highlight his lifelong commitment to preserving and protecting our environment and lay out his plan to continue to do so when he returns to Congress after the February 13th special election.

At the press conference, held at a very cold and windy Sea Cliff Municipal Beach, Suozzi received enthusiastic and wholehearted endorsements from the New York League of Conservation Voters, the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) Action Fund, and the Sierra Club Long Island Group.

“I am grateful to the New York League of Conservation Voters Federal Fund, the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, the NRDC Action Fund, and the Sierra Club Long Island Group for recognizing my three-decades-long commitment to preserve, protect, and clean our air, land, and water,” Suozzi said. “Just a few days ago, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, and on that day, I saw an eagle fly across the sky in my hometown of Glen Cove. The hard work of a lot of dedicated people can produce results!”

Tom Suozzi, running to return to Congress representing NY-03 in the Feb. 13 special election, reminds voters of his 30-year record on the environment, and his policies going forward © Karen Rubin/news-photo-features.com

When asked about the environment as a campaign issue, Suozzi emphasized his 30-year public service record of cleaning up pollution, dramatically reducing nitrogen, modernizing sewage treatment plants, remediating groundwater, and restoring shell fishing in our local waters.

“I’ve been a champion of the environment for my entire career. My opponent, on the other hand, parrots the talking points of the Conservative Party, which rejects the Paris Climate Change Agreement, denying that climate change is even real,” Suozzi stated. “Well, I know the people that live in this district very well, and they care about the environment. They want to make sure that we clean up pollution and that we protect our air, protect our land, and protect our water.”

“My whole adult life I have worked for these issues. I know how politics works, how government works….I know how to make government work for people, so they see real impact in their lives,” Suozzi said, flanked by a battalion of enthusiastic supporters despite the frigid wind.

“Our environment is a big part of my 10-point plan,” Suozzi said, citing his 10-point plan released in mid-December. “My opponent just put out a 10-point plan, which looks very similar to my 10-point plan, and there is nothing on it about the environment whatsoever.”

Tom Suozzi, seeking to return to Congress representing NY-03, receives endorsements from leading environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, and New York League of Conservation Voters © Karen Rubin/news-photo-features.com

Joining Suozzi and speaking at the press conference were Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters; Al Fredericks, Chair of the Political Committee of the Sierra Club’s Long Island Group; Kevin Curtis, Executive Director of the NRDC Action Fund; Danielle Fugazy Scagliola, member Glen Cove City Council; and Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Nassau County Legislator and Minority Leader.

“It’s not partisan to want clean air, clean water,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “We are feeling the effect of climate change – the hottest year on the planet since records were kept. Leadership matters. …We’ve had a 30-year relationship with Suozzi…He fights tooth and nail for policies that all have real impact on the environment.”

Al Fredericks, Chair of the Political Committee of the Sierra Club’s Long Island Group , noted that Suozzi was one of the chief negotiators of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act that dramatically increased funding for Long Island Sound and remediating Grumman. He cast a critical vote to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest federal investment in the environment and climate action.

“His Republican opponent cannot match his knowledge or experience in issues that most concern District 3. She is a newcomer with a single two-year term as Nassau County Legislator. We cannot afford to gamble once again on an inexperienced candidate.”

Kevin Curtis, Executive Director of the NRDC Action Fund said that his committee unanimously voted to endorse Suozzi. “The Congressman is the real deal – he does the hard work on the environment.”

Minority Leader in Nassau County Legislature Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, who has served with Suozzi’s Republican opponent the past two years, noted that this coastal peninsula was one of the largest superfund sites in the nation, but Suozzi fought for and won funding to clean it up. “There are places all over the nation needing funding –the only way to bring money home is if you have someone fighting for it. His opponent has said she is ‘not a talker’. We need someone who understands the process, how the system works and is not just a talker, but can argue, fight for his local area.”

While Suozzi has regularly held press conferences and is out meeting people and taking questions, his Republican opponent has kept away and is refusing to debate.  

“The voters need to know where she stands on the environment and every other issue. She refuses to tell us anything in detail, and she refuses to debate,” Suozzi asserted. “I give detailed policy descriptions and have a record of getting things done.”

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© 2024 News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. For editorial feature and photo information, go to www.news-photos-features.com, email [email protected]. Blogging at www.dailykos.com/blogs/NewsPhotosFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures, Tweet @KarenBRubin

FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Updates Report on the Impact of Climate Change on Migration

At the Climate March, New York City, activists demand climate justice. The Biden Administration updated its report on how climate change the trigger to migration to the southern border and around the world. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Two years ago, the Biden-Harris Administration released the Report on the Impact of Climate Change on Migration. This update in the report comes at a key time when Republicans in the House and Senate are holding up government funding for border security, foreign aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, and threatening to shut down the government over inhumane, likely illegal demands to close down migration, when the Biden Administration has attempted to focus on one of the major causes for migration: climate change. This fact sheet was provided by the White House: – Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
 
The Administration provided an update on actions taken under President Biden’s Executive Order 14013 Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration and efforts to address the effects of climate change on displacement and migration.
 
Research estimates more than 216 million people could migrate within their countries as a result of climate change by 2050. Migration can be a necessary mechanism for survival for communities and families facing severe risk to personal safety, property damage, or loss of livelihood and is often the only option to meaningfully reduce that risk.  Particular attention must be paid to the needs of communities that receive migrants displaced as a result of climate events, including access to housing, work, and education.
 
Under President Biden’s leadership, the United States Federal government is working to implement a number of initiatives to improve the ability of vulnerable communities both at home and abroad to adapt to and manage the increasing impacts of the global climate crisis that contribute to displacement: 

  • The President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), launched by President Biden in November 2021 with a commitment to work with Congress to fund international climate adaptation at $3 billion annually by 2024, has an Action Plan that builds off and bolsters existing international efforts to advance climate resilience, including ways to address key drivers of migration by enabling communities to support themselves where they are, respond to displacement, support those who choose to move as a risk management strategy, and assist trapped populations.
     
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development’s April 2022 Climate Strategy highlights the importance of limiting displacement and supporting safer and more productive migration. This includes the need to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to climate-related migration and scale support to migrants and their communities.
     
  • Lack of access to and availability of water accounted for ten percent of the increase in global migration between 1970 and 2000. The June 2022 White House Action Plan on Global Water Security lays out a whole-of-government approach to improve global resilience, elevate data-driven methods, use resources more efficiently, and work collaboratively across communities and sectors to address global water security, which can be a key driver of displacement and migration due to impacts on health, food security, and livelihoods.
     
  • The Department of State released a new approach in June 2023 to address the impacts of the climate crisis on migration and displacement, including four objectives: 1) strengthen and expand the protection of refugees and migrants in situations of vulnerability affected by climate change; 2) enhance existing climate action by partnering with key humanitarian partners, through regular dialogue with international, governmental, and non-governmental organizations, and through engagement with members of affected populations; 3) expand U.S. multilateral diplomacy and leadership to address the impacts of climate change on migration and displacement in international fora; and 4) strengthen coordination between agencies to advance policy solutions for refugees and migrants affected by climate change.

Additionally, the White House report called for U.S. leadership to elevate the impact of climate change on migration and displacement in multilateral spaces and educate leaders on the urgency of climate risk to populations. The Department of State has advanced dialogue on the issue in various fora over the last two years, including hosting events during the International Dialogue on Migration, Inter-Governmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum, and Refugees, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, UN General Assembly High-Level Week, the Cities Summit of the Americas, the Regional Conference on Migration, and the Africa Climate Summit.

These efforts have generated engagement and momentum among key stakeholders – government, international organizations, impacted communities, multilateral development banks and international finance institutions, civil society, think tanks, the private sector, and others – around action at the intersection of climate change and human mobility. The State Department and USAID will continue working with these stakeholders to inform, develop, and coordinate actions in the years to come.

To address migration and displacement due to climate change, the United States has developed a three-pronged approach of 1) improving access to information by U.S. federal agencies, partner countries, and local communities, 2) increasing investment in adaptation and resilience programs, and 3) facilitating protection of individuals at home and abroad.
 
Increasing access to information by U.S. federal agencies, partner countries, and local communities on climate change
 
Information about climate change impacts, early warning systems, and adaptation options saves lives and empowers governments and communities to take timely and appropriate actions to increase climate resilience and address climate-related mobility. The U.S. Government advances observations, models, and forecasts that enable monitoring and early warnings for floods, droughts, cyclones, and extreme temperatures, as well as food insecurity, conflict, and humanitarian needs, including through the following programs:

  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) established the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) in collaboration with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1985 in response to devastating famines in East and West Africa to fulfill a critical need for better and earlier warning of potential food security crises.  Over the past two years, FEWS NET has increased its investments and partnerships in the climate security domain to better understand interactions between the changing climate, food and water security, fragility, and conflict. Improved understanding and forecasting of these dynamics provide increased insight into migration drivers and patterns, creating opportunities to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to the needs of migrating people.
     
  • The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the U.S. Civil Applications Committee lead the Thermal Working Group (TWG), a coordinating body for advancing and enabling delivery of data, information, and products to civil first responders. Since 2021, the TWG has supported wildland fire detection. Increasing average temperatures and related climate change are correlated with observed increases in the occurrence and area burned by fires and the duration of wildfire seasons, increasing the risks associated with disaster-induced displacement. Through continued efforts to improve system processes, the TWG National Guard FireGuard teams have detected and delivered information on more fires (over 2,800 fires total), more quickly, and with greater confidence, enabling earlier and faster local emergency response.
     
  • The USGS provides science to better understand drivers of migration, such as sea-level rise in the Pacific Islands.  USGS personnel facilitate the delivery of geospatial data during disaster events, such as the 2022 volcanic eruption in Tonga and 2023 flooding in South Africa, in support of the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters, a United Nations-brokered agreement to provide disaster-related geospatial data and imagery to first responders. Through the USGS-chaired, interagency Civil Applications Committee and National Civil Applications Center, commercial imagery and sensor data are provided to first responders to proactively prepare and respond to these disasters, mitigating the impacts on critical infrastructure and livelihoods. 
     
  • The U.S. Global Change Research Program is co-leading an initiative launched in 2021 on Enhancing Capacity for Climate Risk Assessment and Catalyzing Partnerships to Inform Decisions in Latin America and the Caribbean (LACI). The goal of the LACI partnership is to help countries in the region develop capacity to produce national climate assessments that support decision-making and help communities mitigate and adapt to climate change. In June 2023, LACI pilot programs were announced for El Salvador, Amazonia, and Jamaica. This effort directly responds to Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, as well as PREPARE.
     
  • USAID provides life- and livelihood-saving early warning systems and climate information services that help communities, pastoralists, farmers, and local governments better prepare for and adapt to frequent and extreme climate events. USAID partners with leading science organizations to ensure partner governments, civil society, and other stakeholders have context-specific, accurate, and actionable climate information.  USAID also invests in capacity building and provides resources for governments and communities to respond and adapt to climate risks. For example, the flagship USAID-NASA partnership, SERVIR, harnesses the power of satellite data to strengthen climate resilience, food and water security, forest and carbon management, and air quality.  SERVIR has co-developed over 65 services used around the world to increase early warning lead times for floods, droughts, and high-impact weather events.
     
  • In 2022, USAID made an initial investment of $67 million in partnership with NOAA, the World Meteorological Organization, and the UN Office of Disaster Risk Reduction to advance early warning capacity of national authorities.  Through these investments, Flash Flood Guidance System coverage expanded from 74 countries to an additional 20 countries.  In addition, USAID will expand the early warning of river and urban flooding droughts, and heatwaves as needed, focusing on small Island Developing States, Africa, and Least Developed Countries.  Increasing local capacity for early warning supports governments and communities to better prepare for, plan for, and reduce impact of disaster displacement.
     
  • As announced at the Cities Summit of the Americas in April 2023, more than $1 million in support for USAID’s Roadmaps for Urban Adaptation in Latin America and the Caribbean will provide key information to support urban adaptation and climate resilience, with a focus on those most vulnerable to climate impacts, including migrants and displaced people.
     
  • USAID’s Climate Change, Food Security, and Migration research in Honduras advances understanding of how climate change relates to migration in the country.  The research has for instance, revealed a statistically significant relationship between food insecurity and migration; showed that municipal drought has a long-term and cumulative impact on the U.S. border apprehension rate; and demonstrated that coffee prices, which are increasingly affected by climate change, drive migration most where coffee is more important to the local economy.  USAID uses this research to help farmers in areas of high migration like Honduras cope with climate impacts. Supporting water-conservating agricultural methods reduces production risks related to drought and enables farming households across Central America to improve soil moisture and fertility, increasing yields by as much as 50 percent.
     
  • With almost $3 million in funding starting in October 2021, USAID has been supporting the Academic Alliance for Anticipatory Action, an innovative partnership between a U.S. university and six universities in Africa and Asia to build the evidence base on why acting ahead of hazards and risks saves lives. Research topics range from assessing the impact of social protection systems on different demographic groups in response to effects of drought in Namibia, to studying the lead time required for different nutrition and health interventions in Eastern Uganda, to examining the use of a flood forecasting system which indicates possible flooding in the Philippines.

Increasing investment in adaptation and resilience programs

Climate variability and change are increasingly contributing to human migration and displacement. Weather-related disasters currently displace around 30 million people annually, even under current warming projections, additional people will be displaced or unable to escape climate impacts. Adaptation and resilience actions can help respond to the key drivers of migration, support those who choose to move as a risk-management strategy, and assist populations trapped by climate impacts. U.S. Government adaptation and resilience initiatives support and scale actions to build the climate resilience of people, places, ecosystems, and livelihoods, including through the following programs:

  • A $135 million investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act charged the Department of Interior (DOI), the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and the Denali Commission to support 11 severely impacted Tribes to advance relocation, managed retreat, and adaptation planning. To date, efforts have focused on outreach to the 11 Tribes, providing technical assistance to build Tribal capacity to adapt, and establishing PL-638 Tribal accounts for initial fund distribution to facilitate the hiring of Tribal relocation coordinators. 
     
  • A $40 million investment from the Department of Agriculture funded community-driven relocation projects in 15 Alaskan Tribal communities, with $7 million for seven Emergency Watershed Protection projects in Alaska to relocate homes threatened by erosion, stabilize eroding riverbanks, and restore channel capacity to mitigate flooding.
     
  • USAID’s Climate Strategy sets the ambitious goal of improving the climate resilience of 500 million people by 2030. USAID partners with more than 45 countries to strengthen the resilience of people and communities to address climate impacts across multiple sectors, including issues that are linked to migration and displacement. USAID supports programming to address climate-related migration including:
    • In FY21, USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) supported Planning for Productive Migration in Niger with a $200,000 pilot evaluation that provided comprehensive job search support and facilitated safe, productive, regional migration as a livelihood strategy for people facing climate change and other challenges within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
    • In FY22, USAID Burkina Faso’s YouthConnect activity, which improves the resilience and economic empowerment of vulnerable youth, expanded by $4 million to support an influx of persons displaced by climate and conflict;
    • In FY22, the $15 million USAID Asia Resilient Cities activity addressed cross-cutting urban development challenges in secondary cities in Asia, with a focus on migrants and informal settlement dwellers, by promoting sustainable urban growth; supporting resilient, low-carbon urban infrastructure; and integrating climate change and environmentally conscious urban development approaches;
    • In 2023, USAID partnered with the University of Arizona and universities in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific to develop locally led solutions to climate-related disasters by supporting youth and young professionals through an initial grant of $6 million. The program addresses local climate-related challenges in partnership with communities, local governments, NGOs, and the private sector to enable climate adaptation; and
    • USAID contributed approximately $1 million in FY22 to the U.N. International Organization for Migration (IOM) for solar water pumping schemes in emergency settings. The USAID-funded Solar Hub provides technical support and training to ensure solar water pumping schemes reach vulnerable populations experiencing climate-related shocks and stressors. Solar water pumps played a critical role during the 2022-2023 Horn of Africa drought, where reduced displacement related to water scarcity by providing safe and cost-effective water access.
       
  • The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration contributed $5 million in FY22 to the UN Migration Multi-Partner Trust fund.  This funding supports labor mobility and climate resilience in the Pacific, facilitates safe and regular migration in the Eastern Africa; enhances climate resilience for migrant and vulnerable households in coastal India; and strengthens capacities in the Brazilian Amazon to face the challenges of migration, climate change, and health.  This funding addressed needs and gaps in: 1) data and knowledge, 2) national and regional policy frameworks, 3) disaster displacement preparedness, and 4) regular migration pathways.

Protecting people at home and abroad from climate change

Climate change has disproportionate impacts on vulnerable groups, including marginalized communities and people already displaced. Climate-induced displacement creates additional vulnerabilities, which the United States aims to mitigate through programs to address the needs of those displaced by climate change, inclusion of displaced persons in climate action plans and programs, and support community-driven relocation plans, such as the following:

  • Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration’s contributions to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Organization of Migration (IOM), and other humanitarian agencies support climate adaptation and mitigation for refugees, internally displaced persons, conflict victims, migrants, stateless persons, and their host communities in climate-vulnerable countries.  For example, with Department of State support:
    • UNHCR helps Rohingya refugees in southern Bangladesh mitigate the effects of monsoon storms, flooding, and landslides;
    • IOM conducted capacity-building efforts in Central America to assist national and local authorities in better understanding the impact of climate change on migration flows, and their implications in terms of human rights, protection, and development;
    • IOM supports government authorities in Angola, Djibouti, Libya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and other countries in including migrants in their disaster preparedness and response plans;
    • IOM prevents and mitigates human trafficking in Kenya brought on by vulnerabilities and displacement exacerbated by climate change. IOM is raising awareness of risks and employing a variety of livelihood support models to build economic resilience in communities facing economic insecurity due to climate change; and
    • At the August 2023 Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry announced the Department of State’s contribution of $4 million to the IOM to enhance data collection on climate change and human mobility, and to support migrants, refugees, and host communities impacted by climate events in Kenya.
       
  • USAID delivers assistance to the most vulnerable communities and addresses migration and displacement linked to climate change impacts. This assistance comes prior to, during, and after a humanitarian crisis. USAID responds on average to 75 crises in nearly 70 countries each year. USAID also works to address the long-term needs of displaced persons, including those impacted by climate change. For example, in FY22, USAID/Somalia invested $11 million in Building Durable Solutions to Displacement to support the resilience of long-term internally displaced people (IDPs) affected by climate- and conflict-related disasters. By facilitating access to land titles, formal rental agreements, and improved livelihood prospects, USAID is forging avenues for these families to integrate productively and safely into urban economies, transforming their displacement into opportunities for development.    
     
  • In August 2023, the Department of State supported a technical conference that resulted in the continent-wide expansion of the Kampala Declaration on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change, in partnership with IOM and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Regional Collaboration Center for East and Southern Africa.  The Declaration is a potential example for other regional blocs to collaborate on the challenges posed by the intersection of climate change and migration.
     
  • The Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons is supporting programs to conduct research on and address human trafficking in climate-induced migration, including:
    • IOM, with Columbia University, is conducting research on human trafficking in cross-border migration linked to climate change and its impact on livelihoods and food security in places including Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and South Africa;    
    • In Bangladesh, a program aims to integrate anti-trafficking policies into existing government plans to address climate change, while building the capacity of vulnerable communities. The program is also conducting research to better understand the link between climate change and human trafficking.
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has incorporated research on the climate change-human trafficking nexus within the brick-kiln industry in Pakistan as a result of the 2022 “super flooding,” which displaced hundreds of thousands of the country’s most vulnerable workers.  The findings were used to refine the interventions on human trafficking in the brick-kiln industry.
       
  • The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in furtherance of Section 6 of Executive Order 14013, updated its combined asylum officer and refugee officer training materials in July 2023 to provide guidance on the intersection of climate change and asylum and refugee claims under existing law.  USCIS basic training for all new asylum officers and refugee officers includes specific training and activities related to the intersection of climate change and protection claims.
     
  • DHS, through USCIS, issued new, first-of-its-kind guidance in August 2023 to assist stateless noncitizens in the United States who wish to obtain immigration benefits or have submitted other requests to USCIS. Stateless individuals are those who are not legally considered a citizen of any country, and therefore may be denied legal identity, and struggle to access education, healthcare, marriage, and job opportunities. Individuals can be born stateless or become stateless because of discrimination, war and conflict, or changing borders and laws, including due to the potential impacts of climate change. 
     
  • DHS has also used its authority to designate certain countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), issuing 12 new designations and redesignations under the Biden-Harris Administration. There are 16 TPS designations in place currently. TPS can be issued to protected noncitizens in the United States when their home countries are facing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
     
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development released a Climate Resilience Implementation Guide for Community Driven Relocation in March 2023, which provides a step-by-step guide for communities seeking to implement a community-driven relocation program.

See also:

FACT SHEET: BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION LEVERAGES HISTORIC US CLIMATE LEADERSHIP AT HOME AND ABROAD TO URGE COUNTRIES TO ACCELERATE GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION AT COP28

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Leverages Historic US Climate Leadership at Home and Abroad to Urge Countries to Accelerate Global Climate Action at COP28

In this fact sheet, the White House detailed how the Biden-Harris Administration leverages historic U.S. climate leadership at home and abroad – which is why it is so dangerous for those climate activists who threaten to withhold voting to reelect Biden unless he “ends fossil fuels” Trump (and every Republican) pledges to “drill baby, drill” and reverse every climate action the Biden Administration has taken:. This fact sheet is a reminder to those frustrated activists of what Biden, despite Republican obstacles, has accomplished, and what a second-term might produce. –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Wind turbine on New York State farm. “The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time,” President Biden stated at the conclusion of COP 28. “But as America has always done, we will turn crisis into opportunity – creating clean energy jobs, revitalizing communities, and improving quality of life. It is our collective responsibility to build a safer, more hopeful future for our children. We can’t be complacent. We must keep going, and we will.”
© Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

At the conclusion of COP28, President Biden stated, “Today, at COP28, world leaders reached another historic milestone – committing, for the first time, to transition away from the fossil fuels that jeopardize our planet and our people, agreeing to triple renewable energy globally by 2030, and more. While there is still substantial work ahead of us to keep the 1.5 degree C goal within reach, today’s outcome puts us one significant step closer.  
 
“But we didn’t just arrive at this inflection point. Vulnerable countries have called on major economies to take urgent action. And in every corner of the world, young people are making their voices heard, demanding action from those in power. They remind us that a better, more equitable world is within our grasp. We will not let them down.
 
“The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time. But as America has always done, we will turn crisis into opportunity – creating clean energy jobs, revitalizing communities, and improving quality of life. It is our collective responsibility to build a safer, more hopeful future for our children. We can’t be complacent. We must keep going, and we will.”

Since day one, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and the entire Biden-Harris Administration have treated climate change as the existential threat of our time. After spearheading the most significant climate action in history at home and leading efforts to tackle the climate crisis abroad, the United States heads into the 28th U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with unprecedented momentum. At COP28, the Biden-Harris Administration will urge other major economies to accelerate climate action in this decisive decade and will announce new initiatives to galvanize global efforts to keep a resilient, 1.5°C future within reach.

In her remarks at COP28, the Vice President announced a series of initiatives outlined below, including a $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund as the United States works with international partners to mobilize finance at the pace and scale required.

President Biden’s ambitious domestic climate action offers countries gathering at COP28 a proven model for how bold action to tackle the climate crisis and end dependence on fossil fuels can unlock a new era of clean and inclusive economic growth, investment, good-paying jobs, energy security, and savings for families and business. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – the largest investment in clean energy and climate action ever – the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), and other executive actions, the United States is in a strong position to achieve our 1.5°C-aligned emissions target under the Paris Agreement. Implementation of these two laws alone is expected to cut U.S. emissions as much as 41% below 2005 levels in 2030 – roughly 80% of the way towards achieving the 50-52% reduction outlined in our nationally determined contribution (NDC). At the same time, the Biden Administration is pursuing additional federal actions to bring us to the full 50-52% reduction levels, including measures like the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards for vehicles, power plants, and methane emissions – which complement increased action from state and local governments and the private sector.

President Biden’s ambitious climate agenda has also unleashed a clean manufacturing boom – stimulating over $350 billion in announced private investment in clean energy manufacturing since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration and creating over 210,000 clean energy jobs in just the last 15 months, with an additional 1.5 million jobs projected to be created over the next decade. Through robust incentives, the United States will not only accelerate our own clean energy transition, but also catalyze investments in other countries and drop the cost of clean energy for everyone – saving hundreds of billions of dollars globally. Over the next seven years, according to analysis from the Department of Energy (DOE), twice as much U.S. wind, solar, and battery deployment is expected than would have been without the IRA.

At the same time, the Biden-Harris Administration is pursuing bold executive action to accelerate our progress toward the full 50-52% reduction levels in 2030. Today, at COP28, Assistant to President Biden and U.S. National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi and EPA Administrator Michael Regan, announced EPA’s final standards to sharply reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations, which will achieve a nearly 80% reduction below future methane emissions expected without the rule. This final rule is expected to prevent the equivalent of 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide – nearly as much as all the carbon dioxide emitted by the power sector in 2021. In 2030 alone, the expected reductions are equivalent to 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide – more than the annual emissions of 28 million gasoline cars. This builds on more than 100 additional actions that U.S. federal agencies have taken this year to dramatically reduce methane emissions under the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan, including plugging wells and leaks in the oil and gas sector, reclaiming abandoned coal mines, reducing food waste and agricultural emissions, investing in cleaner buildings and industrial processes, and launching innovative technologies to detect and halt large methane emissions. These actions, which further deliver on the Global Methane Pledge, will cut consumer costs, protect workers and communities, maintain and create high quality, union-friendly jobs, and promote U.S. innovation and manufacturing of critical new technologies.

US Delivering on Commitment

At COP28, the Biden-Harris Administration demonstrated how it is delivering on its commitment for the United States to lead the global response to combatting the climate crisis. Initiatives that the Biden-Harris Administration are announcing at COP28 include:

• Powering Forward with Ambitious Domestic Climate Action – by advancing the most ambitious climate agenda in American history, demonstrating that investing in climate action is good for the economy at home and abroad. At COP28, federal agencies will announce a series of new, historic actions across every sector of the economy, including energy supply, transportation, and buildings – all while advancing environmental justice and promoting climate resilient communities.

• Bolstering Global Climate Resilience – by scaling up U.S. support for vulnerable developing countries, reaching $2.3 billion in FY 2022 to support the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE); expanding access to cutting-edge climate information, early-warning, and satellite data through PREPARE Climate Information Services; announcing $50 million for the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils multi-donor funding platform to support climate-resilient food systems, subject to the availability of funds; and marshalling over $2 billion from 15 additional companies in response to the PREPARE Call to Action.

• Responding to the Impacts of Climate Change in the Most Climate-Vulnerable Countries and Communities – including announcing its intent to work with Congress to put $17.5 million toward a new fund for climate impact response; $4.5 million to support community-based measures through the Pacific Resilience Facility; and providing $2.5 million to the Santiago Network to catalyze technical assistance for vulnerable countries.

• Accelerating Global Climate Action to Keep the 1.5°C Goal Within Reach – including by launching a new Clean Energy Supply Chain Collaborative and announcing up to $568 million in catalytic financing available to support these and related efforts; working with partners to unveil over $1 billion in new grant funding through the Methane Finance Sprint; mobilizing $9 billion through the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate; co-leading coalitions of countries to triple renewable energy and nuclear energy capacity globally; and launching the Resilient Ghana and DRC New Climate Economy country packages for forests with government, philanthropic, and private sector partners.

• Mobilizing Finance from All Sources – including putting the United States on course to scale up our international public climate finance to over $9.5 billion in FY 2023 – on track to meet President Biden’s pledge to work with Congress to scale up our support to over $11 billion per year by 2024; playing our part to help meet the collective goal of mobilizing $100 billion in climate finance per year; announcing a $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund (GCF); and delivering better, bigger, and more effective multilateral development banks (MDBs).

• Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Leadership in Tackling the Climate Crisis – including galvanizing over $1.4 billion in investments from the U.S. government and partners through the Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative.

BOLSTERING GLOBAL CLIMATE RESILIENCE

The Administration is announcing new efforts to accelerate the implementation of President Biden’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), which aims to help more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change this decade. Through these efforts, the United States has provided over $2.3 billion in adaptation finance in FY 2022, putting the United States on track to achieve President Biden’s pledge of working with Congress to increase U.S. international public adaptation finance to $3 billion by FY 2024 to help implement PREPARE. This includes the following additional efforts across PREPARE, subject to Congressional notification, the availability of funds, and the completion of domestic procedures:

• Expanding Access to Cutting-Edge Climate Information and Satellite Data through PREPARE Climate Information Services. The United States has invested billions to develop world-leading weather and climate-related information and service capabilities – from launching leading-edge satellites, amassing relevant observational data from a global network of sensors, and developing advanced modelling technology. Under PREPARE Climate Information Services, the United States is leveraging these investments and sharing cutting-edge capabilities to support vulnerable developing countries in understanding, anticipating, and preparing for climate impacts. At COP28 the United States is:

Announcing $6 million for the Weather-Ready Pacific Program. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will support Pacific countries as they develop and build multi-hazard early warning systems.

Enhancing Forecasting and Preparedness. NOAA and USAID will work with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands to deploy storm surge sensors to improve public storm surge forecasts and warnings. USAID and NOAA are also working with the World Meteorological Organization, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in 20 African nations, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to establish and advance early warning systems on floods, droughts, cyclones and heatwaves.

o Enhancing Capabilities to Reduce Disaster Risk and Support Disaster Response and Recovery around the World. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Disaster Response Coordination System will leverage cutting-edge NASA science and technology to provide actionable information to those who need it most around the world.

• Promoting Long-Term, Climate-Resilient Food Security:

Announcing $50 million for the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS) Multi-Donor Fund, pending Congressional appropriations, to support for climate-resilient, nutritious crops and building healthy soils that will foster more resilient food systems, and build on the $100 million United States commitment announced towards VACs in July.

• Mobilizing Private Capital, Innovation, and Engagement in Adaptation and Resilience:

Marshalling over $2 billion in New Investments through the PREPARE Call to Action to the Private Sector. This initiative invites businesses to make new, significant commitments to building climate resilience in partner countries. This initiative has more than doubled from its 10 founding companies to a total of 25 companies including Aon, Arup, Blue Marble, Boston Consulting Group, Danone, Howden Group, IBM, Jupiter Intelligence, McCormick, Milliman, Miyamoto International, Pula, Synoptic Data, Tomorrow.io, and Xylem. The founding companies of the PREPARE Call to Action are Google, Gro Intelligence, Marsh McLennan, Mastercard, Meta, Microsoft, Pegasus Capital Advisors, PepsiCo., SAP, and WTW.

HELPING THE MOST VULNERABLE RESPOND TO THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE:

The United States is helping vulnerable countries respond to climate impacts. These efforts include (1) helping vulnerable developing countries recover and reconstruct after extreme climate-related events, (2) supporting vulnerable developing countries in their efforts to increase fiscal space, including through the expanded application of climate-resilient debt clauses, debt-for-nature restructurings, and parametric insurance; and (3) working with partners on policy matters related to sea-level rise. To build on this track record, at COP28 the United States is:

• Announcing $17.5 million for the fund for climate impact response, subject to Congressional notification, to help address critical gaps in the existing financing landscape. The fund will help particularly vulnerable developing countries, for example, in responding to slow onset events, such as with measures to support SIDS with planned relocation and the preservation of cultural heritage in the face of sea-level rise. The fund will also help the most vulnerable respond to extreme events, like storms and floods, by complementing existing support for reconstruction and recovery provided by the MDBs.

• Providing $4.5 million to the Pacific Resilience Facility, subject to Congressional notification. The Pacific Resilience Facility, a Pacific-owned and Pacific-led initiative, will provide small grants to finance community-based adaptation and responses to the impacts of climate change.

• Announcing $2.5 million for the Santiago Network. The Santiago Network will catalyze technical assistance of relevant organizations, networks, and experts to assist the most vulnerable developing countries in responding to climate impacts.

ACCELERATING GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION TO KEEP THE 1.5°C GOAL WITHIN REACH.

In April 2023, President Biden convened leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) to galvanize efforts in key areas that the latest science identified as critical to keeping the goal of limiting average warming to 1.5°C within reach. At COP28, the United States announced progress in each of these key areas, including:

• Launching a New Clean Energy Supply Chain Collaborative. According to the International Energy Agency, the world must invest $1.24 trillion in clean energy technology supply chain capacity between now and 2030 to be on track to achieve net zero energy by 2050. To help meet this challenge, the United States announced a new Clean Energy Supply Chain Collaborative (CESC Collaborative) aimed at expanding and diversifying clean energy supply chains that are critical to the clean energy transition. The Collaborative will enable like-minded countries to advance policies, incentives, standards, and investments to create high-quality, secure, and diversified clean energy supply chains across seven critical technologies: wind, solar, batteries, electrolyzers, heat pumps, direct air capture, and sustainable aviation fuels. Participating countries will work together to optimize the economic opportunities the clean energy transition provides, strengthen key stages of global clean technology supply chains where challenges related to lack of capacity are most acute, and further reduce the cost of clean energy technologies. To jump-start clean energy supply chain investment in developing countries, the United States announced up to $568 million in new concessional lending available from the U.S. Department of Treasury through the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) to support eligible projects in CTF-eligible countries.

• Reducing methane and other non-CO2 GHGs, including through over $1 billion in new grant funding under the Methane Finance Sprint. Reducing methane emissions is the fastest way to lower global temperature rise in the near term. Limiting warming to 1.5 °C will require reductions in global methane emissions of at least 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels, as called for by the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) which was launched by the United States and European Union at COP26. To accelerate these efforts, at COP28, the United States, People’s Republic of China, and UAE convened leaders for a Summit on Methane and Other Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases. At the Summit, the United States and UAE called on Parties to the Paris Agreement to submit 2035 NDCs that are economy-wide and cover all greenhouse gases. Countries and partners also showcased new steps to cut methane in support of the GMP, which has now been endorsed by 155 countries. Governments, philanthropies, and the private sector unveiled over $1 billion dollars in new catalytic grant funding for methane reduction since COP27. This funding is more than five times the $200 million goal set by President Biden in April 2023. The Summit also featured $965 million in funding to replenish the Montreal Multilateral Fund and support Kigali Amendment implementation and energy efficiency.

• Unveiling new announcements under the Green Shipping Challenge. Following the successful launch of the Green Shipping Challenge at COP27 by United States and Norway, countries, ports, and companies announced over 60 new and updated actions to accelerate the decarbonization of the shipping sector. These include more than $1.6 billion in new public-private funding for maritime decarbonization, accelerated progress in over 15 green shipping corridors, including over $120 million to support their development, at least 65 new orders for zero-emission vessels, and the expansion of the United States Green Shipping Corridor Initiation Project.

• Decarbonizing Energy by Scaling Technologies Critical to Achieving the 1.5°C Goal:

Scaling global renewables and energy efficiency. The United States, EU and UAE co-led a coalition of countries committed to pursuing a global tripling of renewable energy and a doubling of energy efficiency by 2030, in line with efforts to ensure a 1.5°C-aligned power sector, including ending new unabated coal capacity globally. In the lead-up to COP28, the United States and the People’s Republic of China committed to accelerate substitution of unabated coal and other fossil power generation by scaling up renewables sufficiently to anticipate meaningful post-peaking absolute power sector emissions reduction in the 2020s.

Leading Efforts to Accelerate Nuclear Energy Capacity. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and IEA analysis shows that nuclear energy plays a key role in achieving global net zero goals. At COP28, the United States announced new initiatives to:

  •  Triple Nuclear Energy Capacity Globally by 2050 – The United States co-led a coalition of over 20 countries from four continents that launched a Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy from 2020 levels by 2050 globally and invited shareholders of international financial institutions to encourage the inclusion of nuclear energy in energy lending policies.
  •  Jump Start Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Deployments Around the World – In response to the significant global interest in deploying U.S. SMR nuclear energy systems to support critical climate and energy security goals, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) and U.S. Department of State are outlining EXIM’s suite of financial tools to support SMR deployments and help U.S. exporters remain competitive.
  • Advancing a Secure Nuclear Fuel Supply Chain – Building on our pledge announced in April 2023 at the G7 meeting in Sapporo, Japan, the United States, Canada, Japan, France, and the United Kingdom will work to mobilize at least $4.2 billion in government-led investments to enhance their collective enrichment and conversion capacity over the next three years. These investments will catalyze private sector finance to build out safe, secure, and reliable global nuclear energy supply chains.

o Launching a U.S. Fusion Energy International Partnership Strategy. This strategy will support the timely development, demonstration, and deployment of commercial fusion energy in strategic areas like research and development and harmonization of regulatory frameworks.

Delivering on Hydrogen. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is scaling up hydrogen technologies to support the global transition to clean energy, including by ramping up investments in research, development, and demonstration to pursue the Hydrogen Shot goal of reducing the cost of clean hydrogen to $1/kg by 2031. It is also working to strengthening international collaboration on standards and certification.

Launching International Energy Earthshots Partnerships. DOE is now taking its signature Energy Earthshots Initiative global by collaborating with Canada on long duration storage, India on hydrogen, and other countries to tackle climate change through innovation, creating good jobs, and driving down energy costs.

o Expanding the Carbon Management Challenge. The Challenge recognizes the urgency of deploying, at scale, carbon capture, utilization and storage and carbon dioxide removal as key to keep the goal of limiting average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius goal within reach – in addition to the utmost efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Members of the Challenge, co-sponsored by Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, advance a global goal of expanding carbon management projects to reach gigaton scale annually by 2030. New countries include Iceland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Netherlands, and Romania.

Expediting the global transition to clean energy through Net Zero World (NZW). The U.S. Department of Energy is working with Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, Singapore, Thailand, and Ukraine to formulate national net-zero policies and roadmaps and, in only two years, has worked on implementation of 23 decarbonization actions across the energy sector, mobilizing $10 billion in investments.

o Expanding the Net-Zero Government Initiative (NZGI). Building on the Initiative’s successful launch at COP27, more than 15 NZGI member countries have developed net zero roadmaps in conjunction with COP28, and 10 new countries will announce they are joining the Initiative for a total of nearly 30 NZGI countries. The NZGI aims to leverage the catalytic role of national governments in accelerating the achievement of countries’ climate targets. Participating countries commit to achieving net-zero emissions from national government operations by no later than 2050 and developing a roadmap with interim targets for getting there.

Decarbonizing energy sectors through Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP). The United States, and other International Partners Group countries, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Africa celebrated the launch of critical investment mobilization and policy implementation plans to accelerate clean energy transitions and achieve ambitious JETP climate targets.

• Partnering with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Mobilize $9 billion in New Investments for Climate-Smart Food Systems, Research, Development, and Innovation. Launched at COP26 by the United States and the UAE, the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate and its growing network of over 600 partners, including 55 countries, is announcing a more than doubling of investments by its partners, from $8 billion announced at COP27 to over $17 billion at COP28, which includes $1.5 billion in previously announced funding from the United States. USAID, through Feed the Future, will invest $100 million, subject to the availability of funds, over the next two years in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). USAID has already surpassed its initial five-year commitment of $215 million to the CGIAR under AIM for Climate. This funding compliments commitments made at COP28 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UAE for investments in the CGIAR.

• Leading global efforts to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. The United States co-chaired the Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership, driving greater ambition and action with 32 countries, including launching the Resilient Ghana and New Climate Economy country packages. The United States, alongside the United Kingdom, secured new commitments from ADM and Cargill to halt nature loss, and partnered with the Governor of Para to stop deforestation from cattle.

MOBILIZING FINANCE FROM ALL SOURCES.

From day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has been committed to boosting international climate finance. This includes scaling-up our own bilateral finance, fully leveraging multilateral financial institutions, and mobilizing private investment. These efforts are also in direct support of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. These efforts include:

• Putting U.S. International Climate Finance on Track to Exceed $9.5 Billion in FY 2023. Since taking office, President Biden has dramatically increased U.S. international climate finance from $1.5 billion in FY 2021 to $5.8 billion in FY 2022 and is on track to exceed $9.5 billion in FY 2023. These increases put the United States on track to meet President Biden’s pledge to work with Congress to scale up U.S. international public climate finance to over $11 billion annually by 2024. These increases were also critical to the OECD’s recent expression of confidence that contributors have likely already achieved the collective $100 billion climate finance goal in 2022.

• Fully Leveraging International Financial Institutions:

Delivering Better, Bigger, and More Effective Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). Working with partners, the United States has championed a major effort to better equip the MDBs to address today’s increasingly complex global challenges like climate as part of their effort to fight poverty. The United States is rallying partners to boost World Bank Group concessional financing capacity towards these efforts, building on the President’s request to Congress to unlock $27 billion to support these efforts.

Announcing a $3 Billion Pledge to the Second Replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), subject to the availability of funds. In the context of this pledge, and building on its year as co-chair of the GCF Board, the United States will champion an ambitious GCF evolution agenda to help ensure that all U.S. funds provided to the GCF have maximum impact for U.S. taxpayers with respect to the climate and diplomacy. Elements of the evolution agenda include improved access to climate finance for SIDS, LDCs, and African states; exploring how to better leverage the GCF’s balance sheet, including through an improved private-sector financing platform; continued improvements in unlocking private capital; and streamlining the accreditation process for public and private sector entities.

• Pioneering Innovative Tools and Approaches to Leverage Private Finance:

o Becoming a Global Leader in Innovative Debt-for-Nature Swaps. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has further strengthened its standing as a global leader in debt restructurings for nature with nearly $2 billion in commitments generating funding for marine protection, terrestrial conservation, biodiversity, climate resilience, and sustainable livelihoods in Belize, Ecuador, and Gabon. In addition, deals executed by Treasury, State and USAID under the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act have unlocked over $380 million in new financing over the life of the program.

Announcing that DFC and the Government of India intend to invest up to $1 billion in the India Green Transition Fund. This private credit fund will target market-based returns, provide climate impact benefits, and accelerate the development of clean energy transition projects in India through investments in solar, energy storage, and e-mobility. The fund, and all projects in which it invests, will adhere to DFC’s environmental and social policies and procedures, as well as international environmental and social standards, including the IFC Performance Standards. DFC and the India Green Transition Fund are in late-stage discussions regarding indicative terms.

Advancing the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA). At COP28, the U.S. Department of State, the Bezos Earth Fund, and The Rockefeller Foundation will partner with other countries and leading companies to present the core framework of the ETA, an innovative carbon finance platform that will catalyze private capital to speed the transition from fossil-based to clean power in developing and emerging economies. Several countries will announce they are joining the ETA as pilot countries or express interest in participating. Several major companies will sign a letter of interest welcoming the ETA as an opportunity to support large-scale power sector transformation while accelerating progress towards their ambitious climate goals.

Mobilizing up to $20 billion in New Private Investment through the Comprehensive Action for Climate Change Initiative (CACCI) Partnership for Climate Action (PCA). USAID will identify promising mitigation and adaptation investments that help countries meet their climate commitments and strengthen their resilience in the face of climate change. CACCI is a key piece of USAID’s response to the COP28 Global Stocktake. At COP28, USAID will announce memoranda of understanding with two private sector partners: BG Titan and Genesis Energy Group. These companies are pivoting their business towards climate investments and, with USAID’s guidance, they will aim to responsibly leverage up to $10 billion each in private sector investment over the next five years to support renewable energy projects, green housing and infrastructure, and climate-resilient agriculture in developing countries.

Mobilizing over $1.4 billion through Innovative Blended Finance Approaches. Through the Blended Finance for the Energy Transition (BFET) program, the U.S. State Department, in partnership with USAID’s Climate Finance for Development Accelerator, will help mobilize over $1.4 billion of capital to accelerate the energy transition in emerging markets. With co-funding from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Investment Fund for Developing Countries, and engagement from DFC, BFET competitively awarded funding to two private sector-led blended finance investment funds.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Investor Leadership Network (ILN) intend to sign a Strategic Partnership Agreement aimed at mobilizing climate finance from ILN’s global coalition of institutional investors, which manages over $10 trillion in assets. Under the Strategic Partnership, USTDA will support project preparation assistance in emerging economies for priority clean energy and critical minerals projects that are designed to catalyze institutional investment for climate-aligned financing.

Delivering Progress under MCC and USAID’s Climate Finance +. MCC and USAID launched Climate Finance + at COP27 as a collaborative approach to strategically use public finance to unlock billions in private investments for green and climate-friendly infrastructure. Under this program, MCC has provided $10 million in financing estimated to catalyze up to $200 million in climate-related investments in industrial zones in Morocco. In Indonesia, MCC will build on USAID investments to catalyze financing to develop and de-risk transactions that expand public transit, promote transition to electric vehicles, and build more efficient transport networks. And to facilitate greater access to MCC Compacts, USAID is supporting the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility to improve the terms of African Sovereign Eurobonds issuances and catalyze Sustainable Development Goal-related investments in clean energy infrastructure in Africa.

Supporting the Launch of the Green Guarantee Company (GGC). The GGC is the first privately run guarantee company devoted to green bonds and loans in developing countries, focusing on Africa, Asia and Latin America. The United States – through USAID, State Department and Prosper Africa – alongside the U.K. Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the GCF and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, contributed to GGC’s initial balance sheet of $100 million. GGC will use this catalytic seed funding to mobilize $1 billion in new, mainstream private capital for climate change adaptation and mitigation projects.

ADVANCING WOMEN AND GIRL’S LEADERSHIP IN TACKLING THE CLIMATE CRISIS

In the 21st century, no economy can get ahead if half of its population is left behind. In our rapidly modernizing global economy, the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring women are prepared for, and part of, the industries of the future. At COP28, the Administration announced:

• $1.4 Billion in Investments through the Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative, Including $449 Million in Additional Aligned U.S. CommitmentsWISE, which the Vice President first launched at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit in November, aims to bolster women’s economic participation at home and around the world by expanding access to employment, training, leadership roles, and financial resources in green and blue industries that are critical to the future of our planet, including clean energy, fisheries, recycling, forest management, and environmental conservation. At COP28, the U.S. will announce an additional $449 million in aligned U.S. commitments to the initiative, for a total of $612 million in direct and aligned U.S. commitments under WISE. This includes new programs like Global Girls Creating Change (G2C2), which aims to introduce 900 girls and young women in at least 29 countries to professional opportunities in the sustainable economy through training, skills development, and mentoring, with focused efforts in Brazil, Indonesia, Nepal, and Uganda. New partner commitments announced at COP include: the Rockefeller Foundation will commit to advance gender equity amid climate change, including through a $25 million commitment to the Co-Impact Gender Fund and five-year climate strategy which will, among other objectives, help advance women’s leadership and access to climate finance in green sectors; The UPS Foundation will commit $3 million to the Climate Gender Equity Fund to foster a greener world and create economic opportunities for women, augmenting The UPS Foundation’s ongoing efforts through the Women Exporters Program and UPS’s Green Exporters Program; and the African Development Bank will commit to leverage up to 3 million through the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative to facilitate women’s access to finance in sectors such as sustainability, climate mitigation, and clean energy.

NYS Announces Nation’s Biggest Investment in Renewable Energy: 3 Offshore Wind, 22 Land-Based Renewable Projects to Power 2.6M Homes

Long Islanders have been protesting, pleading, rallying for offshore windpower for years. Here, rallying outside Long Island Power Authority’s offices in May, 2016. Governor Kathy Hochul has just announced the largest state investment in renewable energy in US history, demonstrating New York’s leadership in advancing the clean energy transition. The conditional awards include three offshore wind and 22 land-based renewable energy projects totaling 6.4 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power 2.6 million New York homes and deliver approximately 12 percent of New York’s electricity needs once completed.  © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Three Offshore Wind and 22 Land-Based Renewable Energy Projects Totaling 6.4 Gigawatts Will Power 2.6 Million New York Homes and Deliver 12 Percent of New York’s Electricity Needs in 2030  

Projects Expected to Create Approximately 8,300 Family-Sustaining Jobs and Bring $20 Billion in Economic Development Investments Statewide, Including Developer-Committed Investments to Support Disadvantaged Communities 

Advances the Nation’s First Offshore Wind Blade and Nacelle Manufacturing Facilities with the State Committing $300 Million and Attracting an Additional $668 Million in Private Funding

Supports Progress Toward New York’s Climate Act Goal to Obtain 70 Percent of the State’s Electricity from Renewable Sources by 2030 

79 Percent of New York’s 2030 Electricity Needs to be Met with Renewable Energy

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the largest state investment in renewable energy in United States history, demonstrating New York’s leadership in advancing the clean energy transition. The conditional awards include three offshore wind and 22 land-based renewable energy projects totaling 6.4 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power 2.6 million New York homes and deliver approximately 12 percent of New York’s electricity needs once completed. When coupled with two marquee offshore wind blade and nacelle manufacturing facilities, this portfolio of newly announced projects is expected to create approximately 8,300 family-sustaining jobs and spur $20 billion in economic development investments statewide, including developer-committed investments to support disadvantaged communities.

The announcement supports progress toward New York’s goal for 70 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 – and nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035 – on the path to a zero-emission grid as required by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Following these awards, New York will now have enough operating, contracted, and under development renewable energy projects to supply 79 percent of the state’s 2030 electricity needs with renewable energy.

“New York continues to set the pace for our nation’s transition to clean energy,” Governor Hochul said. “An investment of this magnitude is about more than just fighting climate change – we’re creating good-paying union jobs, improving the reliability of our electric grid, and generating significant benefits in disadvantaged communities. Today, we are taking action to keep New York’s climate goals within reach, demonstrating to the nation how to recalibrate in the wake of global economic challenges while driving us toward a greener and more prosperous future for generations to come.”  

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said, “The Department of Energy applauds the significant step that this announcement represents for building an offshore wind energy industry here in the U.S. that revitalizes domestic manufacturing and coastal economies, while advancing our clean energy future. New York is showing President Biden’s Investing in America agenda at work, and DOE looks forward to continued collaboration on project deployment, development of a robust domestic supply chain along with transmission development to help realize both our state and federal offshore wind goals.”

Once in service, the awarded offshore wind and land-based renewable energy projects will: 

  • Produce approximately 19 million megawatt-hours of new renewable energy per year, enough to power more than 2.6 million New York homes. 
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9.4 million metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking more than 2 million cars off the road every year. 
  • Provide public health benefits resulting from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including fewer episodes of illness and premature death, fewer days of missed school or work, less disruption of business, and lower health care costs.
  • Deliver a host of benefits to disadvantaged communities in line with the Climate Act goals, with over $3.5 billion in commitments to disadvantaged communities made by developers.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “This latest and largest round of large-scale renewable energy awards is further proof that New York is, and will continue to be, a place where the renewable energy sector can thrive. This cohort of large-scale renewable energy projects reflect New York’s longstanding and ongoing priority to responsibly advance the most cost-competitive and economically viable clean energy projects in a manner that is timely and maximizes benefits for all New Yorkers.” 

Today’s announcement represents the first set of actions taken by the State as part of New York’s 10-point Action Plan, announced recently by Governor Hochul, offering insight into how the Governor’s Administration plans to overcome recent macroeconomic and inflationary challenges that have impacted the renewable energy sector. Today’s awards also mark the commencement of contract negotiations with the awarded parties, and the awards are conditional on successful contract execution. 

Demonstrating the State’s commitment to ensuring these projects create quality, family-sustaining jobs for New Yorkers, the contracts upon full execution will include commitments to purchase certain minimum amounts of U.S. iron and steel and prevailing wage provisions for all laborers, workers, and mechanics performing construction activities. In addition, offshore wind project developers will be required to negotiate Project Labor Agreements among their construction contractors and a building and construction trade labor organization representing craft workers for the construction of the new renewable energy generation resources. 

The Nation’s Largest-Ever State Investment in Offshore Wind
In the most competitive offshore wind solicitation in the U.S., NYSERDA has selected three new offshore wind projects totaling 4,032 megawatts (MW) of clean energy which is expected to displace over 7 million metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing 1.6 million cars from the road each year. Additionally, the awarded projects will bring more than $15 billion in anticipated in-state spending and create more than 4,200 family sustaining jobs across Long Island, New York City and the Capital Region over the 25-year lifespan of the projects. 

The three offshore wind projects include: 

  • Attentive Energy One (1,404 MW) developed by TotalEnergies, Rise Light & Power and Corio Generation. The project includes a novel fossil repurposing plan in Queens, which seeks to retire fossil fuel power generation in the heart of New York City and transition the current workforce to clean energy jobs.  
  • Community Offshore Wind (1,314 MW) developed by RWE Offshore Renewables and National Grid Ventures. The project includes utilization of new grid interconnection being developed by Con Edison in downtown Brooklyn, made possible by the Public Service Commission Order Approving Cost Recovery for Clean Energy Hub to maximize delivery of clean electricity into New York City.  
  • Excelsior Wind (1,314 MW) developed by Vineyard Offshore (Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners). The project includes proposed cable route options providing robust energy deliverability to Long Island, leveraging the electric grid expansion provided through the Long Island Public Policy Transmission Need outcome. 

Together, these projects will bring tremendous benefits to New York’s economy, workforce, and environment, including: 

  • More than $85 million to support wildlife and fisheries research, mitigation, and enhancement. 
  • Nearly $300 million in commitments to Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOBs). 
  • Over $100 million in commitments to train New York’s workforce to build and service offshore wind projects. 
  • Billions of dollars in public health benefits resulting from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including fewer episodes of illness and premature death, fewer days of missed school or work, less disruption of business, and lower health care costs.    

These projects employ a mix of flexible and innovative transmission designs, including a reduced footprint in transmitting energy from offshore wind projects to New York City through high voltage direct current (HVDC) and adaptable “Meshed-Ready” offshore electrical substations. The three offshore wind projects are anticipated to enter commercial operation in 2030. The average bill impact for customers over the life of the projects will be approximately 2.73 percent, or about $2.93 per month. The average all-in development cost of the awarded offshore wind projects over the life of the contracts is $96.72 per megawatt-hour.

Delivering on Governor Hochul’s commitment to make New York State a hub for the U.S. offshore wind supply chain, this procurement includes continued support for offshore wind turbine manufacturing, which leverages over $2 in privately committed capital for every $1 of New York public funding. 

NYSERDA is also awarding $300 million in state investment to enable the development of two supply chain facilities including nacelle manufacturing and assembly by GE Vernova, along with blade manufacturing developed by LM Wind Power Blades USA, both planned for New York’s Capital Region.  

This investment has the capacity to supply almost one-third of the total regional demand for offshore wind by 2035, which will unlock $968 million in public and private funding, create 1,700 direct and indirect jobs backed by prevailing wage and project labor agreements, and result in over $3 billion in direct spending in the State. Additionally, these projects also align with available federal tax credits, enabling future savings to New York’s ratepayers. 


New York’s Land-Based Renewable Energy Procurement
In addition, New York also announced its latest round of conditional land-based large-scale renewable awards, which are comprised of 14 new solar projects, six wind repowering projects, one new wind project, and one return-to-service hydroelectric project, totaling a combined 2,410 megawatts – enough new renewable generation to power over 560,000 New York homes annually for at least 20 years. These projects are expected to spur over $4 billion in direct investments and create over 4,100 good-paying short- and long-term jobs across New York State. 

The projects by region include:

Central New York 

  • Oxbow Hill Solar: Cypress Creek Renewables will build a 140-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Fenner, Madison County. 

Finger Lakes 

  • Gravel Road Solar: Delaware River Solar will build a 128-megawatt solar facility in the Towns of Tyre and Seneca Falls, Seneca County. 
  • Hatchery Solar: VC Renewables, LLC will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Caledonia, Livingston County. 
  • SunEast Hampton Corners Solar: Cordelio Power will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Groveland, Livingston County. 
  • SunEast Niagara Solar: Cordelio Power will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Caledonia, Livingston County. 
  • White Creek Solar, LLC: AES will build a 135-megawatt solar facility in the Towns of York and Leicester, Livingston County. 
  • Hemlock Ridge Solar: AES will build a 200-megawatt solar facility in the Towns of Barre and Shelby, Orleans County. 
  • Valcour Bliss Windpark: AES will repower a 100.5-megawatt wind facility in the Town of Eagle, Wyoming County. 
  • Valcour Wethersfield Windpark: AES will repower a 126-megawatt wind facility in the Town of Wethersfield, Wyoming County. 

Mohawk Valley 

  • Dolgeville Hydro: Energy Ottawa NY Generation Ltd. will continue operations for a 5-megawatt hydroelectric facility in the Town of Dolgeville, Herkimer County. 
  • SunEast Millers Grove Solar: Cordelio Power will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Schuyler, Herkimer County. 

North Country 

  • North Country Wind: Terra-Gen Development Company, LLC will build a 298.2-megawatt wind facility in the towns of Burke and Chateaugay, Franklin County. 
  • Riverside Solar: AES will build a 100-megawatt solar facility in the Towns of Lyme and Brownville, Franklin County. 
  • SunEast Morris Solar: Cordelio Power will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County. 
  • Valcour Altona Windpark: AES will repower a 97.5-megawatt wind facility in the Town of Altona, Clinton County. 
  • Valcour Chateaugay Windpark: AES will repower a 106.5-megawatt Wind facility in the Town of Chateaugay, Franklin County. 
  • Valcour Clinton Windpark: AES will repower a 100.5-megawatt Wind facility in the Town of Clinton, Clinton County. 
  • Valcour Ellenburg Windpark: AES will repower an 81-megawatt Wind facility in the Town of Ellenburg, Clinton County. 

Southern Tier 

  • Clear View Solar: VC Renewables, LLC will build a 19.99-megawatt Solar facility in the Town of Cohocton, Steuben County. 
  • Stonewall Solar: Nexamp will build a 145-megawatt solar facility co-located with 20 megawatts of energy storage in the Town of Meredith, Delaware County. 

Western New York 

  • Somerset Solar: Somerset Solar, LLC will build a 125-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Somerset, Niagara County. 

Outside of New York 

  • Mineral Basin Solar: Swift Current Energy will build a 401.6-megawatt solar facility in the Townships of Girard and Goshen, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, and will deliver energy into the New York electric grid. 

The average bill impact for customers over the life of the projects will be approximately 0.31 percent, or about $0.32 per month. The average all-in development cost of the awarded Tier 1 projects over the life of the contracts is $60.93 per megawatt-hour. Importantly, these projects are prioritizing benefits to disadvantaged communities in line with the State’s Climate Act, with over $108 million in commitments to disadvantaged communities made by developers as part of their proposals to NYSERDA. These projects are also expected to result in over $38 million in commitments in spending to MWBEs and SDVOBs. 

The State will continue to emphasize and enhance engagement with the communities where the projects are being developed. NYSERDA offers resources and no-cost technical assistance to help local governments understand how to manage responsible clean energy development in their communities, including step-by-step instructions and tools to guide the implementation of clean energy, including permitting processes, property taxes, siting, zoning, and more. 

Long Island Power Authority Chief Executive Officer Thomas Falcone said, “LIPA proudly stands with Governor Hochul as we make history with this monumental investment in renewable energy. These projects are part of a shared commitment to a sustainable future, directly aligning with LIPA’s vision of delivering clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to our communities. Governor Hochul is transforming how we power New York while creating thousands of jobs in a new industry.”

“New York’s significant investments in offshore wind and renewable energy projects are a testament to Governor Hochul’s commitment in advancing a clean energy economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions to benefit the state’s communities,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “I applaud the Governor for continuing to address the challenges of climate change with the wind, solar, and hydro projects announced today that are helping ensure a greener, more prosperous, and equitable future for all New Yorkers.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said,“Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, this monumental investment not only propels New York to the forefront of the renewable energy sector but promises thousands of family-sustaining jobs across our state. As we work towards a sustainable future, we’re committed to ensuring that every New Yorker reaps the economic benefits of this initiative, especially our disadvantaged communities.”

Representative Paul Tonko said, “I have always believed in the potential for New York to play a leading role in offshore wind and clean energy development and have pushed hard at the federal level to advance policy and investment that grows out this industry. Today’s announcement is a realization of that vision. This next chapter in the storied history of skilled labor and innovation in our area will bring hundreds of good paying green jobs to the Capital Region while advancing our clean energy future and protecting our environment for generations to come. I look forward to closely working with our state and commercial partners to make these bold plans a reality and I will never stop working to secure our clean energy future and create the jobs of tomorrow.”

“Today marks a key milestone for solar, wind and renewable energy projects that will not only help New York reach its sustainability goals, but also create thousands of good paying, union careers for our hardworking tradesmen and tradeswomen,” New York State Building Trades President Gary LaBarbera said. “This historic investment will brighten our clean energy future and the improve the lives of all New Yorkers, including those who will now have the opportunity to work on these projects, support their families and pursue a more accessible path to the middle class. We applaud Governor Hochul for her continued commitment to streamlining clean energy initiatives, all while uplifting working class New Yorkers.”

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, “I thank Governor Hochul for this historic investment that will help us combat climate change, and ultimately win that battle while creating solid, middle-class, union jobs right here in New York State. It is the next step to ensuring that New York’s clean energy future is built, operated, and maintained by a highly trained and highly skilled union workforce. We look forward to continuing to work with the governor to address climate change while creating and preserving family-sustaining union jobs.”

Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO President John Durso said, “We look forward to working with the governor and her team as we move the offshore wind industry forward, creating good union jobs that will not only power Long Island’s economy but also make an historic commitment to our environment. The Long Island Federation of Labor, as a crucial partner, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of offshore wind development, with our expertise and dedication, in bolstering the growth of the industry while safeguarding the interests of our workforce.”

“Today’s announcement is clearly indicative of Governor Hochul’s intent to move forward with a thriving offshore wind industry,” IBEW Local Union #3 Business Manager Christopher Erikson said. “This commitment includes labor protections for working men and women, the guaranteeing of good wages, the inclusion of PLA’s and workforce development for both the construction trades and supply chain employers. This is good for New Yorkers, our employers, our environment, and the health of generations to come.”

Alliance for Clean Energy New York Executive Director Anne Reynolds said, “New contracts for 22 wind, solar, and hydroelectric projects, plus for three major offshore wind energy projects, is good news for New York’s environment and electricity system. Building these projects will mean construction jobs for laborers, electricians, and other building trades, as well as cleaner air for New Yorkers. The renewable energy industry welcomes today’s announcements and looks forward to continuing to work with the state of New York on its ambitious energy transition.”

New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Fred Zalcman said,“Today’s announcement by the Governor, awarding three contracts for more than 4,000 MW of offshore wind generation, shows that New York is prepared to double down on this clean, renewable and job-creating resource, and will go a long way towards instilling confidence in a market that has recently faced tremendous headwinds.

New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe said, “As the climate crisis bears down on us and the health of our population and planet continue to suffer the damaging effects of burning fossil fuels, we can no longer afford to just talk about renewable energy, we need to deliver real projects on the ground. The awarding of an additional 6.2 GW of wind, solar, and hydro power is a big step to meeting the state’s renewable energy goals and a major win for public health and the environment. We applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA President Doreen Harris for going big in the latest round of renewable energy procurements.”

Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, “Climate change impacts have continued to assault New York this year with more flooding in New York City subways, mud slides in Westchester and significant erosion along Fire Island and Long Island’s south shore.  Now is the time to act! Transitioning to renewable energy is the primary action we need to take to fight climate change.  Today’s announcement establishes a pivotal turning point in advancing green energy in our state. We are excited and hopeful that New York will lead the way for our Nation to act just as vigorously and decisively as New York.  We applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for this historic action which will not only fight climate change, but also result in cleaner air, healthier communities and uplift our economy.”

President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and President of the National Offshore Wind Training Center Matthew Aracich said,”Here is another shining example by Governor Hochul honoring her pledge to advance the offshore wind industry here in NY. The magnitude of these projects will undoubtedly spur economic growth that will reverberate throughout the state and simultaneously provide a true pathway to the middle class. The work mentioned in today’s announcement allows skilled labor’s registered apprenticeship training programs to grow at an unprecedented rate and holds the key to maintaining a vibrant future for the Long Island Region. When we build green energy projects at a scale necessary, we eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels as quickly as possible.”

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York’s unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $55 billion in 145 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with nearly 400 registered and more than 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the state to help target air pollution and combat climate change. 

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Takes Action to Cut Energy Bills, Housing Costs and Climate Pollution

Administration invests over $100 million to renovate homes with zero energy and climate resilient technology

Announcement will help advance goal of cutting the cost of decarbonizing housing in half within a decade while lowering energy bills and increasing affordable housing supply

 

The Biden Administration announced awards of more than $100 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest investment in clean energy and climate action ever – to help renovate the homes of more than 1,500 low-income families to be zero energy and climate resilient. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This fact sheet about Biden-Harris administration actions to cut energy bills, housing costs and climate pollution is provided by the White House:

Since Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has advanced the most ambitious climate agenda in history, leading a whole-of-government approach to reduce emissions across every sector of the economy, including the buildings sector, and expand affordable clean energy to every American. Last week, the Biden-Harris Administration set a bold target to reduce the cost to decarbonize new and existing housing by 50% within a decade, while delivering energy bill savings for Americans and curbing greenhouse gas emissions that come from operating, constructing, and renovating buildings.
 
In the United States, more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions comes from the buildings sector – with 20 percent from heating, cooling, and operating our homes. By investing in solutions to cut pollution from homes, the U.S. will help curb 37% of greenhouse gas emissions that come from operating, constructing and renovating our buildings, while protecting people’s health and lowering energy and housing costs for hardworking families, a key pillar of Bidenomics.
 
That’s why today, the Administration announced awards of more than $100 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest investment in clean energy and climate action ever – to help renovate the homes of more than 1,500 low-income families to be zero energy and climate resilient. These energy-saving renovations will demonstrate the potential to preserve quality, affordable housing in our communities by cutting energy waste down to zero, increasing resiliency to extreme weather events worsened by climate change, and lowering costs for families. All the investments will be made in affordable housing communities serving low-income families in alignment with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to environmental justice. These investments will also preserve the long-term viability and affordability of our nation’s existing stock of affordable housing and advance fair housing by increasing housing options for communities.
 
In addition, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Energy today opened applications for the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program, which will spur up to 1.8 gigawatts of clean energy investments annually in underserved communities. The program, also created by the Inflation Reduction Act, provides a bonus credit amount on top of the Investment Tax Credit for building clean energy projects, which is up to 30% of qualifying investments. The Low-Income Communities Bonus provides up to a 10 or 20- percentage point tax credit boost for small solar and wind projects placed in service in low- income or Tribal communities.
 
Today’s announcements build on key actions taken by the Administration to boost climate resilience in buildings and deliver lower home energy costs for families across the country, while increasing investments in housing supply and safer, healthier housing.
 

Lowering Energy and Housing Costs for Families and Achieving a Zero Emissions Building Sector

  • Last week, the Department of Energy launched its eighth Energy Earthshot – the “Affordable Home Energy Shot” – which sets a bold target to reduce the cost to decarbonize new and existing housing by 50%, save Americans money on their energy bills, and help address the persistent burdens faced by low-income households and communities of color. The initiative will advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s environmental justice and equity goals, including the President’s Justice40 Initiative, by lowering the cost of energy-efficient retrofits while reducing overall energy costs and carbon intensity of homes across the country. Reducing the cost of building will also contribute to the Administration’s efforts to increase the nation’s affordable housing supply through the President’s Housing Supply Action Plan by expanding the production of affordable housing and ensuring the long-term viability of existing units.
     
  • The Biden-Harris Administration recently announced a goal of making zero emissions, resilient new construction and retrofits common practice by 2030. To achieve its goal, the Administration is developing a standard national definition for zero emissions buildings that will help establish a consistent, verifiable and measurable path to a zero-emissions building sector. With over 130 million existing buildings, which collectively cost over $400 billion a year to heat, cool, light and power, and 10 million new homes to be constructed by 2030, establishing a consistent uniform target will accelerate climate progress by driving investments into homes and buildings of the future.
     
  • The Department of the Treasury recently issued guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act’s amendments to the 45L new energy efficient homes tax credit that now offers up to $5,000 per home to eligible contractors who construct, reconstruct, or rehabilitate energy efficient homes.
     
  • Last week, the Department of Energy announced more than $30 million in awards through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, providing clean energy funding to eight states, 19 local governments and one Tribe. The EECBG Program is designed to assist states, local governments, and Tribes in implementing strategies to reduce energy use, to reduce fossil fuel emissions, and to improve energy efficiency. DOE also awarded more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance through the Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) to teams across America with winning ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades for homes and communities.
     
  • In addition, last month, the Department of Energy opened applications for $400 million through the Inflation Reduction Act for states and territories to adopt and implement the latest building energy codes or zero building energy codes in order to reduce utility bills, increase efficiency, lower greenhouse gas emissions that fuel the climate crisis, and make buildings more resilient to climate disaster.
     
  • FEMA last week announced the availability of $1.8 billion for two resilience grant programs designed to increase climate resilience nationwide and prepare communities for more frequent and severe extreme weather events. The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) annual grant program is making an additional $1 billion available to fund projects that protect people and infrastructure from natural hazards and the effects of climate change. The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program will provide a further $800 million to fund projects that mitigate flood risks facing homes and communities across the nation.
  • Today Department of Housing and Urban Development released a Climate Resources for Housing Supply Framework that describes key funding opportunities for a climate-focused housing supply strategy. This follows the launch of HUD’s Funding Navigator, a user-friendly searchable database of Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law incentives and other resources from across federal agencies to support efforts to enhance climate resiliency, energy efficiency, renewable energy integration, healthy housing, workforce development and environmental justice.
     
  • Recently, HUD announced its Funding Navigator, an interactive tool that allows users to browse and sort funding opportunities for billions of dollars in funding available under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
     
  • Earlier this month, EPA closed its application window for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction FundFor two of the competitions—the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund and the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator—EPA identified net-zero emissions buildings, including multi-family housing, as a priority project category.

Together, these actions further the Administration’s commitment to reducing energy burdens, increasing housing supply and advancing fair housing, cutting climate pollution, boosting climate resilience, lowering household energy costs, and preserving the viability and affordability of America’s housing stock.

New York City Climate Marchers Demand Action Now to End Climate Crisis

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News-Photos-Features.com

Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly this week when leaders including President Biden will make speeches, tens of thousands came out from around the country and around the world to march in New York City to demand political and corporate leaders take sweeping Climate Action – not incremental steps – to address the climate crisis and end the use of fossil fuels that are heating the planet beyond habitability.

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“We’re on a pathway to lose everything, Peter Kalmus, a climate scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (speaking for himself), declared at a rally before the march stepped off. “The cause of heatwaves are fossil fuels, and leaders including Biden are still approving fossil projects. It’s insanity… This can’t be reversed. Stop fossil fuels or ramp down as soon as possible. I’m terrified for the future. Burning, flooding, smoke, heat waves. How will we feed 8 billion people? Heat waves will kill millions. Every year is worse, the planet is hotter. .. This is the only planet in our universe with life. We are on the brink of a 6th mass extinction. A dead planet has no economy, no politics. There is no solution – not carbon capture, not planting trees. There is no plan to deal with the decreasing habitability. We must come together. Fight.”

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

They weren’t giving Biden any credit, either, for passing against all odds the largest climate action program ever, funded with billions of dollars, directed at thousands of communities. He isn’t getting credit for an across-government policy of climate justice, or putting millions of acres of land under federal protection, including canceling all remaining oil and gas leases issued under the Trump administration in the Arctic Refuge and protecting more than 13 million acres in the Western Arctic.

“Biden, you should be scared of us,” declared Emma Buretta, 17, a New York City high school student and an organizer with the Fridays for Future movement,. “If you want our vote, if you don’t want the blood of our generations to be on your hands, end fossil fuels.”

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

They are calling on Biden to declare a climate emergency and “end fossil fuels”, as if he actually had such unbounded power to shut down fossil fuels. But look around: the Christo Fascist majority on the Supreme Court did not even allow him to mandate masks or vaccinations during a deadly pandemic. The court overturned the EPA’s ability to protect wetlands. The courts are overturning DACA, gun control, and Republicans in Congress and at the state level have battled back against climate action – Republican in Congress trying to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act that funds so much climate action; Republican Governors like the POTUS-wannabe Ron DeSantis actually making it illegal to address climate action, even as he takes billions of dollars in federal aid to restore Floridians’ lives after yet another historic hurricane, and Republican-dominated state legislatures making it illegal to accept federal money for climate projects and Republican Attorneys General suing to stop giving incentives for electric vehicles.

So are these young people suggesting they don’t vote, so that a Republican – maybe Trump, maybe some other – will take over and do what Trump did after Obama: reverse course on climate action, pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement?

Instead of threatening not to vote for Biden, if they want to end the Climate Crisis, they should threaten not to vote for any Republican at any level of government.

Here are more photo highlights:

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

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