April 04, 2024

Van Hollen, Markey, Dingell Join Administration in Announcing Funding Launch of the National Climate Bank Network, Providing $20 Billion to Spur Clean Energy Projects Nationwide

Funding from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund stems from National Climate Bank provisions authored by Van Hollen, Markey, and Dingell and included within the Inflation Reduction Act

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) joined the Biden-Harris Administration in announcing the funding launch of the national climate bank network created through the lawmakers’ Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Today’s announcement of $20 billion from the National Clean Investment Fund and the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator – two competitive grant programs under the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) – will spur investment across the country in clean energy projects. The GGRF, authored by Senators Van Hollen and Markey and Congresswoman Dingell and included within the Inflation Reduction Act, is modeled on their national climate bank legislation. The lawmakers were joined in applauding this announcement by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), who together with Senators Van Hollen, Markey, and Rep. Dingell were instrumental in getting the GGRF enacted as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Fifteen years ago, we laid out our vision for a national climate bank that would bolster our efforts to combat global warming by accelerating investment in clean energy. We turned that vision into reality by establishing the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund through the Inflation Reduction Act – and today’s deployment of $20 billion from that Fund is a pivotal moment in America’s fight to confront the climate crisis while driving inclusive economic growth. These funds will serve as a catalyst for private investment in job-creating projects to cut carbon emissions, spur clean energy innovation, and advance environmental justice in underserved communities that have borne the brunt of climate change. Today’s investments are just the beginning – they will be multiplied seven times over to turbocharge our transition to a clean energy economy,” said Senator Van Hollen. The Senator first introduced legislation to create a national green bank in 2009 when he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“After more than a decade of hard work, our vision to create a national climate bank is a reality. Thanks to the $20 billion we secured in the Inflation Reduction Act, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will draw on the experience of public, semi-public, and non-profit community leaders to unleash tens of billions of dollars to deliver more than money, but also justice, to disadvantaged communities. As the single largest climate investment in the Inflation Reduction Act, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will cut emissions, protect health, and create job and economic opportunities so that communities won’t just survive but thrive for generations to come. Even more than money, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is delivering hope – hope for justice and for a livable future.  I applaud the Environmental Protection Agency’s work to quickly stand up this critical program while ensuring transparency and collaboration.” Senator Edward J. Markey, Chair, Senate EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, and co-author of the National Climate Bank Act.

“These awards are making clean energy financing accessible to low-income and underserved communities that have for far too long carried the brunt of environmental pollution, helping us attack the climate crisis head on and creating jobs while lowering energy costs. These investments will fund projects that otherwise would not have been possible, and will mobilize nearly seven times as much in private capital. I’m proud to have helped author and pass the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and look forward to continuing to invest in the most impactful and urgent projects to reach our climate and environmental justice goals,” said Representative Dingell.

“Every American should benefit from the investments we make to fight climate change, no matter their zip code,” said Senator Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “That’s why we created the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund in the Inflation Reduction Act — to ensure that these unprecedented climate and clean energy investments would especially benefit often overlooked communities, those with the greatest need. I am thrilled to see the Biden Administration swiftly implementing this critical program, which will help to lower energy costs for everyone and create good-paying jobs across the nation. Congratulations to each of the eight recipients who will bring us one step closer to a clean energy future.”

“Today’s announcement is historic. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a first-of-its-kind program that will save Americans money on their utility bills, create hundreds of thousands of new good-paying jobs, and protect our communities from the worst impacts of catastrophic climate change. This is what investing in the American people looks like and it is an absolute game-changer for our fight against the climate crisis,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “I applaud the Biden Administration for working diligently to ensure that the program’s funds will reach those who need them most, and I look forward to the unprecedented climate progress it will help us achieve in the years ahead.”

The awards announced by the EPA today include three grants for national nonprofit clean financing institutions from the National Clean Investment Fund. These awardees will partner with the private sector to provide accessible, affordable financing for clean technology projects across the country. Additionally, EPA announced five awards to “hub” nonprofits through the Clean Communities Investments Accelerator, organizations which will deliver funding and technical assistance to public, quasi-public, not-for-profit, and non-profit community lenders – such as community development financial institutions (CDFIs), credit unions, green banks, and others – to finance clean technology projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities. It is estimated that this $20 billion in financing – over 70 percent of which is aimed to be deployed in disadvantaged communities – will leverage seven times more private capital to cut 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.