Climate United Submits Bid to Manage Part of EPA’s $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund

October 12, 2023

Bethesda, MD

Climate United, a collaboration to accelerate an equitable clean energy transition, today announced the submission of its proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Clean Investment Fund award competition, part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The proposal emphasizes the deep experience of the partners, their broad coalition of support, and their unique approach to drive decarbonization at scale to benefit Justice40 communities.

The three partner organizations composing Climate United – Calvert Impact, The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and Self Help – have a combined 110 years of experience deploying and managing more than $30 billion in capital across 50 states, with a focus on creating economic opportunity, sustainable development, and climate solutions in Justice40 communities.

“Our organizations have been investing at the intersection of climate and communities for decades—it’s what we do best,” said Beth Bafford, Vice President of Strategy at Calvert Impact and CEO of Climate United. “This unique federal program represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all communities - but particularly those most impacted by climate change - to participate in the climate revolution and to show exactly how transformational low-carbon solutions can be. It is imperative that we, as a nation, get this right if we are going to meet our goal to reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050. Climate United has the proven financial, technological, and risk management infrastructure—along with the relationships and experience leveraging public funds with private capital —to catalyze real change that moves markets and demonstrates the true power of the clean energy transition. This means quality jobs, lower energy bills, and cleaner air across America.”

“Climate United is a partnership built on a shared mission and decades of work leveraging our expertise and resources to create more affordable, equitable and sustainable communities across America,” said Sadie McKeown, President, The Community Preservation Corporation. “We see enormous potential to leverage this program to transform the multifamily mortgage markets to decarbonize the existing and to-be-built housing stock, especially in small buildings and affordable housing in low-income and underserved communities. This unprecedented level of federal support provides us with a generational opportunity to deliver resources and solutions that can make significant strides in reducing the impacts of climate change – and we are ready to get to work.”

Climate United has more than 350 implementation, deployment, and community partners - many of whom they have worked closely with in the past on green community solutions - to bolster its ability to drive lasting structural changes in Justice 40 communities across the U.S. and to make inclusion and access central to its work. Partners include local and state-based green banks, credit unions, Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), environmental justice organizations, labor and workforce organizations, and private capital providers, among others, who will each play a critical role in ensuring that the program meets its three ambitious objectives: reduced greenhouse gas emissions, direct benefits for American families, and market transformation.

"Deep partnerships and experience matter” said Jennifer Pryce, CEO of Calvert Impact. "We can meet the enormous needs of communities because we know how to execute and deliver with a broad network of collaborators who know their communities. That's how we've served 144 million individual clients, created or retained 750,000 jobs, and created or preserved more than 30,000 homes in a single year. All those numbers add up to lives transformed. And as we are clearly in desperate need of solutions that can scale, Climate United partners have built the foundation upon which we can grow and make a difference."

The $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF), a component of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) passed by Congress in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), is being administered by the EPA, and is expected to make two to three awards in March.

“Our role is to design affordable, accessible products that help bring the benefits of clean technologies to communities that have been disproportionately harmed by climate change and pollution,” said Crystal German, President of the Center for Community Self-Help. “We do this by listening, testing, evaluating, and refining in partnership with families and communities often underserved by the financial marketplace, and alongside a national network of trusted community lenders. Economic change has a habit of increasing disparity; the NCIF and IRA more broadly give us the opportunity to turn this dynamic on its head and ensure our transition to a green economy builds equity and opportunity for all. We won’t let that chance pass us by.”

To ensure ongoing and continued engagement with core partners, Climate United has formed an Advisory Council that will inform strategy, provide direct feedback on program and product design, and ensure accountability to mission. The initial members of the Advisory Council include:

Climate United will take a cross-sector, national approach to deployment of funds into qualifying projects with transaction partners active in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and on Tribal lands. The coalition will support partners with effective and affordable financial products and technical support to catalyze market transformation across the mortgage, public finance, and green project finance markets, driving decarbonization into existing practices to meet the urgency and scale of the climate crisis.

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