Kamala Harris to unveil 'historic' $20B investment in climate, clean energy projects

By Chris Benson
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to North Carolina Thursday to announce $20 billion in grants for clean energy projects. Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI
1 of 2 | U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to North Carolina Thursday to announce $20 billion in grants for clean energy projects. Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI | License Photo

April 4 (UPI) -- Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday to announce a historic $20 billion investment in tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across the United States.

Harris will be joined by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan where the two will outline the Biden administration's "first-of-its-kind" financing network and structure which will invest billions of dollars in clean energy projects, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities, according to The White House.


In North Carolina, Harris and Regan will unveil the eight selectees of federal funds to help combat climate change as part of the Inflation Reduction Act's $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund "to combat the climate crisis by catalyzing public and private capital for projects that slash harmful climate pollution, improve air quality, lower energy costs, and create good-paying jobs."


"When President Biden and I made the largest investment in our nation's history to address the climate crisis and to build a clean energy economy, we made sure that every community would be able to participate and benefit," said Harris.

In an EPA statement, Harris said the grantees they will announce Thursday "will help ensure that families, small businesses, and community leaders have access to the capital they need to make climate and clean energy projects a reality in their neighborhoods."

Specifically, the billions allocated to separate entities -- who have committed to reducing or avoiding up to 40 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually over the next seven years -- will go toward a "wide range" of climate and clean energy projects such as distributed clean power storage and generation, net-zero retrofits of homes and small businesses, and zero-emission transportation.

"All of which can lower energy costs for families and improve housing affordability while tackling the climate crisis," the White House said.

"This will not only reinforce our country's economic competitiveness, but also invest critical resources into underserved communities," Regan said on X.

For every $1 in federal funds will be $7 of private capital toward what will be roughly $150 billion going to "the deployment of climate and clean energy technologies at scale, particularly in underserved communities" in what the White House says will be the "single-largest non-tax investment within the Inflation Reduction Act to build a clean energy economy."


The federal government said at least 70% in financial capital getting announced Thursday by Harris -- or over $14 billion -- "will be invested in low-income and disadvantaged communities, including historic energy communities that have powered our nation for over a century, communities with environmental justice concerns, communities of color, low-income communities, rural communities, Tribal communities, and more."

Under the National Clean Investment Fund three applicants will receive a total of $14 billion to "partner with the private sector, community organizations, and others to provide accessible, affordable financing for new clean technology projects nationwide."

More than $6 billion will be awarded to the non-profit Climate United Fund which "will focus on investing in harder-to-reach market segments like consumers, small businesses, small farms, community facilities and schools."

At least 60% of that investment will go to low-income and disadvantaged communities, 20% in rural American communities and 10% in Tribal communities.

A $5 billion award is being given to Coalition for Green Capital, a non-profit that "will have particular emphasis on public-private investing and will leverage the existing and growing national network of green banks as a key distribution channel for investment," with at least 50% of that going to low-income and disadvantaged communities.


And a $2 billion grant for Power Forward Communities, a non-profit coalition which partners with the likes of Enterprise Community Partners, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Rewiring America, Habitat for Humanity and United Way.

The White House said their task will be to draw on their experience "to build and lead a national financing program providing customized and affordable solutions for single-family and multi-family housing owners and developers."

Under the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator, five other grantees will receive $6 billion to "establish hubs that provide funding and technical assistance to community lenders working to finance clean technology projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities," which the White House said will be a "near-term deployment of climate and clean energy projects while building the capacity of community lenders to finance projects at scale for years to come."

More than $2 billion will be given to Opportunity Finance Network, a 40-year-old non-profit and financial intermediary which provides capital and capacity building for a nationwide network of more than 400 community lenders serving all 50 states.

Inclusiv, a similar entity which does work in Puerto Rico, will be given over $1 billion, Native CDFI Network will be granted $400 million to serve Native American communities, the non-profit Justice Climate Fund a $940 million award, and $500 million for Appalachian Community Capital which likewise will work with community leaders in rural Appalachian communities.


On social media, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-M.D., called Thursday morning's announcement by the White House "a major milestone."

"It's been 15 years since I first put pen to paper on a bill to create this Green Bank, and two years since we finally got it done with the Inflation Reduction Act," Van Hollen said on X.

"With today's milestone, the Green Bank will get up and running - and the entire world will benefit."

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