Climate Mayors, C40 Cities and Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) celebrate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) award of the initial US$20 billion from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) to deploy green capital into clean energy projects that will cut pollution, create good-paying jobs, and deliver benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities.

The GGRF – made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – will grant US$14 billion through the National Clean Investment Fund and US$6 billion through the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator to national clean financing institutions and non-profit organisations, respectively. 

Local governments play a vital role in the development and implementation of clean energy projects. The unique roles cities play, detailed in the report, “Maximizing the Impact of US Federal Climate Investments“, makes them essential partners to GGRF recipients in mobilising capital to protect community health and tackle the climate crisis. Climate Mayors, C40 Cities and USDN encourage GGRF recipients to work with cities to develop investments into equitable housing, transportation, and clean energy technologies. This funding provides cities newfound financial leverage in standing up projects that will improve the quality of life for residents while also mitigating the worst impacts of climate change.

As we know, there’s no climate progress without climate justice. The National Clean Investment Fund requires 40% of projects to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities, while the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator requires 100% of the projects to take place in and benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities. City governments are a key ingredient in achieving the full potential of GGRF funds on the ground – giving way to meaningful and equitable partnerships that can catapult cities into their sustainable and equitable futures. Climate Mayors, C40 Cities, and USDN celebrate the EPA’s dedication to serving communities that have been historically underinvested in. 

We look forward to the future announcement of recipients of the $7 billion Solar For All competition. Solar For All is dedicated to expanding the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities primed for residential solar investment. Climate Mayors, C40 and USDN have previously encouraged coordination and partnership with the GGRF program that impacts local communities – we hope to continue working together to make a lasting impact.

“Equitable access to clean and affordable energy is foundational to a sustainable future for cities,” said Kate Wright, Executive Director of Climate Mayors. “This unique fund will allow cities to fully leverage community and private sector partnerships to make historic strides in creating green jobs, reducing air pollution and lowering energy bills for residents. We thank the Biden Administration for making that a possibility, and providing an additional tool to help our Mayors continue to lead the way towards a brighter future.”

“The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a historic opportunity to invest in communities and create a cleaner and more just energy system for all,” said Kate Johnson, Head of US Federal Affairs, C40 Cities. “Cities are uniquely positioned to ensure that the projects funded by GGRF recipients deliver the maximum benefit to people on the ground – cleaner air, good paying jobs, and lower energy bills. C40 applauds the EPA’s action, and encourages all GGRF recipients to partner with mayors to advance transformative, community-driven projects that will improve people’s lives.” 

“Sustainability, climate resilience, and equity are the pillars of a future where every community can thrive,” said Deneine Powell, Executive Director of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. “Through the EPA’s greenhouse gas reduction grant competitions, we are levelling the playing field and ensuring that support and energy equity reach those most vulnerable to climate change. This announcement marks a critical step towards empowering communities nationwide, fostering partnerships that drive innovation in green technology, and securing a healthier, more sustainable environment for all.”

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