Jessie Buendia's post

3 Reasons Why the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Is The Smartest Climate Investment of the Inflation Reduction Act
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will receive numerous applications from broad coalitions that are competing for funds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). The $27 billion GGRF is the largest single pool of funding of the $369 billion Inflation Reduction Act and a first-of-its-kind investment that will build a more inclusive and equitable green transition for everyone. While at face value this might sound like just another federal grant program, it’s much more than that; the GGRF is a vehicle for progress that will expand the lifeline of every public dollar invested by at least 12 times over the next 10 years – without placing the burden on taxpayers.
Dream. Org is excited to formally be a part of this historic moment by partnering with the Coalition for Green Capital on their grant application to create a national green bank that prioritizes equity and robust community engagement practices. This program will be critical in the fight against climate change while paving the way for an inclusive green economy that provides work and wealth opportunities for communities of color. As a lifelong environmentalist and passionate climate justice activist, here are three reasons why I’m championing the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (and why you should too): 1) Addressing the disproportionate impacts of climate change is expensive. Last year alone, the cost of climate-related disasters exceeded $165 billion, and these impacts are most deeply felt by low-income communities and communities of color. Even though $369 billion is a huge historic investment, we need to strengthen the green economy by maximizing every dollar to tackle equitable climate goals. That’s where the GGRF comes in. We can’t equitably move forward with a transition towards a new economy if we fail to address the historical burdens of redlining that have hurt low-income, rural, and marginalized communities the most. The systemic denial of financial services based on race and ethnicity, left communities of color out of work and opportunities to build wealth, but it also geographically placed them in regions that are now most vulnerable to a changing climate. Addressing mistakes made in the past, while uplifting regions and communities that have been historically left out, is a challenging and expensive problem to solve. The GGRF gives us the opportunity to reduce costs and address these disproportionate impacts by directing $18.6 billion of the total $27 billion towards low-income and underserved communities. 2) We have the solutions, but we need the incentive to move everyone toward a new market. Cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels exist, like solar panels, electric vehicles, and green building practices, but deploying these solutions everywhere isn’t cheap. Changing the way we produce and consume energy comes with higher upfront costs that often steer private industry away from adoption. The GGRF attracts private co-investment to steer the market toward a cleaner economy, reduces perceived financial risks, and responsibly capitalizes on government funding. By building public-private partnerships that serve communities across the US, the GGRF’s green lending programs will leverage $20 billion of federal funding into more than $250 billion over the next decade while prioritizing investments towards communities – both rural and urban – that have been left behind. This is a financially smart way to tackle climate change while creating jobs, reducing energy costs, and improving public health. 3) Everyone stands to benefit from these investments. The GGRF is projected to reduce 850 metric megatons of greenhouse gas emissions and create one million direct jobs over the decade. The best part? 38% of these jobs will emerge in neglected and marginalized areas that have been impacted by poverty and pollution. This is a necessary step toward environmental and economic equity that disadvantaged communities desperately need. Even though a portion of these funds are targeted to specific communities, everyone will benefit from a cleaner environment, more green jobs, and improved public health. Whether you live in a rural or urban environment, billions of dollars in smart green investment hold promise for building the health and economic prosperity that our communities deserve. Maximizing Our Impact Starts and Ends With Us The Green For All team at Dream .Org is working to transform communities that have historically been left behind into centers of economic prosperity. Our goal is to help build a thriving green economy that is strong enough to lift people out of poverty and ensure that the benefits of climate investments are evenly distributed. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund provides a unique opportunity to do just that. The Inflation Reduction Act is a critical piece of climate legislation that provides us with the initial funding we need to jumpstart clean change at scale, but the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund provides us with a safety net to ensure our public dollars are spent wisely. IRA is important, and by design, the GGRF is a critical component of its success. This fund expands the lifeline of IRA capital so that we can address the impacts of choices made in the past, incentivize partnerships across industries, and hold everyone accountable to an equitable transition – so our future is greener than ever before.

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Dream.Org's Climate Investments team hosted a reception and panel in September to convene leaders from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other leaders in climate finance.
  • Munene Mugambi

    35 w

    The effect of this on the greenhouse gases will be huge not to mention other benefits ie jobs

    • Tabitha Kimani

      35 w

      The creation of jobs while transitioning is critical.

      • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

        35 w

        Supporting the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is not just smart; it's a vital climate investment with far-reaching benefits

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