Inflation Reduction Act Provided $27 Billion Fund for Projects that Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Every community deserves a competitive economy and a healthy environment. With emphasis on projects that benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities.
And, with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, our federal government is now positioned to help communities transition to clean energy and become more proactive in the battle against climate change.
According to the National Resource Defense Council, “low income communities and communities of color are forced to shoulder pollution’s heaviest burdens.” And, research shows that the lack of information about pollution exposure and climate further leads to inequality in community engagement and response.
One opportunity to address this disparity is the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GHGR Fund) that was included in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. The GHGR Fund being administered at the Environmental Protection Agency will “provide competitive grants to mobilize financing and leverage private capital for clean energy and climate projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions - with an emphasis on projects that benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities.”
According to the regulations, the EPA’s GHGR Fund includes:
$7 billion in competitive grants to enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy or benefit from zero-emission technologies, including distributed technologies on residential rooftops;
$12 billion for competitive grants to eligible entities to provide financial and technical assistance to projects that reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions; and
$8 billion for competitive grants to eligible entities to provide financial and technical assistance to projects that reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
Educating communities, engaging community leaders, and building the infrastructure to deploy funds to the most impacted communities for projects that will have the greatest outcomes is key to the success of this program.
To do so will require financial organizations able to operate at the largest scale and deep into communities where there is a proven disparity in lack of information on green economy and climate issues. The National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions has offered their infrastructure to the EPA to effectively implement the objectives of this fund stating: “The vast network of credit unions and their partners are prepared to mobilize billions of dollars on their balance sheets to support this effort to promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Credit Unions and CDFIs with proven track records in Low and Moderate Income communities offer accountability, transparency and infrastructure already in place to engage both civic leaders that must help their communities understand the benefits of this program and households in these communities where trust in the new approaches will be crucial to the success of the program.
More to come on this program and opportunities for Healthier Communities.