First-of-its-kind, $27 billion fund at the EPA builds upon Senator Markey and colleagues’ years-long effort to establish a national climate bank
Acting Director of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund provides an update on the competition for funding
Roundtable Discussion (Video)
Washington (June 22, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-chair of the Senate Climate Change Task Force, hosted a roundtable on Wednesday with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and climate finance and community development stakeholders.
Participants at the roundtable discussed the potential projects and community benefits that could be unleashed through the Inflation Reduction Act’s new $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund—a program based on Senator Markey and Senator Chris Van Hollen’s (D-Md.) National Climate Bank Act and Representative Debbie Dingell’s (MI-12) companion Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator Act—which will unlock historic investments in clean energy and climate projects to lower greenhouse gas emissions, with a central focus on environmental justice communities. Jahi Wise, Acting Director for the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, also provided an update on the status of the EPA’s efforts, including plans to launch the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund competition as early as this month, with the goal of doling out awards in 2024.
“Right now, our nation is at the dawn of a new industrial revolution: a clean energy future that will tackle climate change at the scale that the crisis demands, with equity at its core,” said Senator Markey. “But unlike the original Industrial Revolution—which perpetuated economic inequality and racial injustice—our clean energy transition will have the principles of the Green New Deal at its core: justice, good-paying jobs, and emissions reduction. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund has the potential to unleash tens of billions in much-needed private investments. If we get this right, and coordinate efforts across different funders and scales, this program will leverage the power, expertise, and long-standing relationships of public, semi-public, and non-profit community lenders in order to engage in a joint national fight against the climate crisis.”
“Policy comes back to people. By working from the inside out, starting in households to communities to states to the entire country – we can deliver benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities, reduce the high energy burden and other challenges faced by consumers and improve economic resiliency all while achieving carbon reduction objectives,” said Trenton Allen, CEO of Sustainable Capital Advisors and Advisor to the Community Builders of Color Coalition.
“It is an exciting moment, and we are looking forward to working in partnership with you to bring this legislation to life to ensure that all Americans feel the benefits of this historic federal investment – in the form of lower energy costs, cleaner air, quality jobs, and economic opportunity. We believe that once these benefits accrue to more people – in every state and district across the country – fighting climate change will go from a global issue to a kitchen table conversation,” said Jennifer Pryce, President and CEO of Calvert Impact.
“Green Banks are a collection of clean energy finance organizations, some chartered by state or local governments and some not, but all are mission-driven and purposely-built to connect capital with clean energy projects,” said Billy Briscoe, Board Member of the Clean Energy Fund of Texas.
“Specialized expertise, trusted relationships and accountability to local communities make the CDFI industry uniquely qualified to bring energy savings and emission reductions to the disinvested people and places disproportionately harmed by climate change,” said Jennifer A. Vasiloff, Chief External Affairs Officer of Opportunity Finance Network.
“Inclusiv is grateful for the leadership of Senators Markey and Van Hollen and the Senate Climate Change Task Force in creating the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. We are committed to ensuring this Fund delivers on the promise of leveraging private capital to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve health outcomes in polluted communities, lower energy cost burden and create jobs,” said Cathie Mahon, President and CEO of Inclusiv.