The “Solar for All” competition, part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund initiative, will make 60 grants to help communities bring in more residential solar. (Simone/Adobestock)

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By Suzanne Potter

September 28, 2023   

Cities and nonprofits are racing to finish their applications for the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund – the deadline is October 12.

The “green bank” initiative is part of the Biden administration’s record investment in clean energy with the Inflation Reduction Act.

Jenny Wong is the auditor for the city of Berkeley and a member of the nonprofit Elected Officials to Protect America – a group that fights global warming.

“If we believe in addressing the climate crisis, we really should be investing in green banks and clean energy,” said Wong. “If we are to avoid future climate catastrophes, we are running against the clock.”

The effects of climate change – from drought to excessive heat and poor air quality – often fall hardest on low-income communities.

So the green banks will target projects that improve so-called “climate equity” – such as clean buses, energy efficiency or urban tree plantings that clean the air and keep things cooler.

Aerial sunset view of the public civic center district of Fullerton, California.

Fullerton City Council member Ahmad Zahra said this unprecedented investment will mitigate the effects of climate change and accelerate the transition to clean energy.

“It is going to spark some innovation,” said Zahra. “So now that there are funds available, our communities are going to start looking at projects in this area.”

Communities and nonprofits interested in applying can go to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund section of the Environmental Protection Agency website.