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Sparks

The Biden Administration Is Unleashing $20 Billion for Green Banks

Yet another Inflation Reduction Act program launches today.

Money and cute critters.
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Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA administrator Michael Regan are in Charlotte, North Carolina this morning to announce the award of … wait for it … $20 billiondollars for climate mitigation and adaptation projects. This is the official launch of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a $27 billion program that was part of the Inflation Reduction Act — in fact, it is the single largest and most flexible program in the IRA. (The remaining $7 billion is earmarked for “Solar for All,” a separate initiative that will launch later this year.)

The money will go to eight organizations and help “create a national clean financing network for clean energy and climate solutions.” The awardees include:

  • The Coalition for Green Capital, a nonprofit that got $5 billion to help leverage a network of green lenders. More than 50% of its work under the grant will be aimed at low-income communities.
  • Rewiring America, which will share a $2 billion award with four other housing and community-building groups, including Enterprise Community Partners, LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), Habitat for Humanity, and United Way to create a national financing program to decarbonize housing. The initiative will focus 75% of its investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
  • Community Preservation Corporation, a U.S. Treasury Department-certified community development financial institution and part of an umbrella coalition known as the Climate United Fund. Together with other nonprofit financial institutions, it will receive nearly $7 billion to lend to traditionally underserved populations, including rural and Tribal communities.

The general idea is to funnel the money into green lending programs, colloquially known as “green banks,” that will offer low-cost loans and other financing options for consumers, community organizations, businesses, and local governments. Projects financed through the fund could do everything from residential electrification, to green public transit, to solar on schools, to storm water management.

EPA anticipates the awardees will mobilize $7 of private capital for every $1 of federal funds — a total investment of nearly $150 billion. Each of the winners will get access to their share of the funding in the next six months, and will have until 2031 to use it.

Green

Emily Pontecorvo

Emily is a founding staff writer at Heatmap. Previously she was a staff writer at the nonprofit climate journalism outlet Grist, where she covered all aspects of decarbonization, from clean energy to electrified buildings to carbon dioxide removal. Read More

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