$20 billion climate change green bank launches

The Biden administration has kickstarted the process of disbursement of some $20 billion in funding designed to tackle climate change and re-focus the US economy.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched two competitive grant programs with $20 billion in funding that aim to spark clean energy investments across the country, especially in low-income communities.

The programs, part of the overall $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund established by Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year, are the latest move by his administration to support projects that reduce planet warming emissions.

US Vice President Kamala Harris claimed that the investments would lower power bills for working families by making heating and cooling systems efficient. “We lower the cost of electricity, which means lower energy bills for working parents, so they have more money for groceries, and home repairs, and school supplies,” Harris said.

The $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund will provide grants to two or three national clean financial institutions, enabling them to partner with the private sector to provide financing to tens of thousands of clean technology projects nationwide, the White House said.

A $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator competition will provide grants to support up to seven non-profit groups that will deliver funding and technical assistance to build the clean financing capacity of local lenders working in lower-income and disadvantaged communities.

The $27 billion fund was proposed as a way to scale up the model of more than 20 green banks in states, including Michigan and Maryland, that invest in programs such as residential solar and installation of efficient heat pumps and electric vehicle chargers.

The non-profit green banks are intended to help reduce risk of projects in lower-income communities by providing a financial backstop and help attract private sector investment.

Michael Regan, the EPA administrator, said Biden’s fund will spur private investment into clean technology and “expand economic opportunity for communities that have been left

behind”.

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