EPA’s $27 Billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to Prioritize Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities

EPA Low income Reduction Fund

(Credit: Canva Pro)

by | Feb 14, 2023

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The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), a significant climate and environmental justice initiative under President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, has received its preliminary program design guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The guidance aims to direct funding toward climate mitigation and resilience projects in various communities throughout the nation.

As per the guidance, a minimum of $15 billion from the $27 billion fund will be allocated towards aiding underprivileged and low-income communities, and there will be two award competitions. The General and Low-Income Assistance Competition, worth $20 billion, will reserve a minimum of $8 billion for these communities, while the entire $7 billion Zero-Emissions Technology Fund Competition will be dedicated to their benefit. The EPA intends to provide further information in its Notices of Funding Opportunities, set to be released in early Summer 2023.

Reaction from Stakeholders

“The EPA’s commitment to facilitate technical assistance and capacity building to strengthen community-based organizations will be a step forward in helping them prepare for the impacts the climate crisis will bring,” said Ishmael Buckner, policy advocate with Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “Enabling disadvantaged communities to participate in an equitable transition toward lowering greenhouse gas emissions must be a key part of this program. As the EPA begins to act, we hope this program will catalyze the jobs of the future while mitigating climate risk for disadvantaged communities. It is vital that the EPA’s competition guidance set forth eligibility criteria and strong reporting and accountability requirements to ensure that selected fund recipients meet the needs of communities and the greenhouse gas reduction goals.”

“Today’s EPA announcement shows how valuable the Inflation Reduction Act will be in our efforts to address the climate crisis, and how much of a difference it will make for people and communities. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is devoting $27 billion to projects that will protect our climate and our health. Much of that money will go directly to supporting clean energy projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities, including residential and community solar projects coupled with energy storage resources. These projects have the potential to create local benefits including savings on energy costs, reliability improvements, and improved air quality, as well as reducing climate pollution. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is what we need to help everyone move toward a clean energy future.” – Heather McTeer Toney, Vice President of Community Engagement, Environmental Defense Fund

“The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a key financing tool within the Inflation Reduction Act that provides a clear market signal for investors and companies to empower the communities that have been too often ignored yet are most at risk from the effects of the climate crisis. The grant-making process announced by the EPA today allows this important work to begin moving forward toward delivering jobs, lowering burdensome utility costs, and cleaning the air in these communities. We look forward to engaging with our private sector partners, our Community Development Financial Institution and Green Bank colleagues, and community-based organizations. Together, we can ensure that strong proposals for development and investment that expand the benefits of the clean energy economy to all are put before the EPA.” Ceres Director of Federal Policy Zach Friedman

“The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is one of President Biden’s generational investments to build an equitable clean energy economy from the bottom up and the middle out,” said Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation John Podesta. “It will create good-paying manufacturing jobs while helping to tackle climate change-the greatest challenge of our time.”

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