As the Community Builders of Color Coalition (The Coalition), we commend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the release of the two Notices of Funding Opportunities: The National Clean Investment Fund and Clean Communities Investment Accelerator. We are grateful for the chance to submit applications for these funds through our Justice Climate Fund, a crucial initiative purposely built to maximize the dual goals of rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and transforming communities through increased benefits (environmental, energy, climate, health and economic).
The Justice Climate Fund will apply for the National Clean Investment Fund and Clean Communities Investment Accelerator and will prioritize directing funding from the EPA’s GGRF to community-based lenders within our Coalition, including CDFIs, MDIs, loan funds, and MDI credit unions. Our primary objective is to ensure that marginalized communities can effectively implement proven green solutions and technologies.
By equipping community-based organizations and financial institutions that serve disadvantaged populations with capital and resources, the Justice Climate Fund offers a distinctive deployment strategy. This approach will enable these organizations to access zero-emission technologies and support environmental justice activities that lead to lower energy prices, reduced pollution, and the creation of well-paying jobs. Through the Justice Climate Fund, we are committed to fighting for:
- Over 110 million Americans living in low-income and disadvantaged communities, including 1 in 2 African Americans, Latinos, Native Indians, and Alaskans residing in Justice 40 communities.
- Nearly 37 million Americans burdened by energy poverty, impacting their family budgets, health, and resilience.
- The tens of millions of Americans affected by the growing number and intensity of climate-related events (such as droughts, storms, and floods) that strain inadequate housing and infrastructure.
- Thousands of communities facing adverse health impacts from pollution and environmental hazards.
We encourage the EPA to give due consideration to our application as we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing environmental equity and combating the climate crisis. We commend the EPA’s ongoing efforts and eagerly anticipate collaborative work to ensure the just and equitable distribution of resources that will drive positive change in our communities.