The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sanjali De Silva Communications Officer Energy, Climate Accountability

EPA Announces Nonprofits to Lead National Green Bank Implementation


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that three non-profits will manage the distribution of the National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF), a $14 billion fund that can help leverage additional private sector capital to significantly expand clean energy projects across the country. The fund—a part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—is designed to increase access to affordable financing for critical clean energy technology and efficiency projects. The EPA also announced that five non-profits will manage $6 billion in awards under the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA). According to White House officials, 70% of the GGRF capital announced today will flow to low-income and disadvantaged communities. Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan will formally announce these award selections later today in North Carolina.

The NCIF builds on the success of over 40 existing state and local green bank programs that are using limited public funding to leverage greater private sector investment in clean energy. These programs have mobilized $21.8 billion in cumulative investments for clean energy projects since 2011, including $7 billion in 2023 alone, according to the Coalition for Green Capital.

Below is a statement by Steve Clemmer, the director of energy research and analysis at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“Establishing the National Clean Investment Fund is pivotal in catalyzing the transition to an equitable, decarbonized economy. Using seed money from public funding to unlock additional private sector investment and new low-cost financing is a cornerstone in the transition to clean energy, and this program ensures the associated benefits are accessible to all. It is hopeful to see a list of non-profits that have a proven track record of financing clean energy in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

“With the lead nonprofit institutions and a consortium of partners in place, the hard work begins to ensure capital and resources are directed to the communities most in need. This is a unique opportunity to empower all communities, businesses, and families to benefit from the clean energy transition. While the NCIF is a significant step forward, UCS research shows clearly that even more ambition by all levels of government is needed to meet U.S. climate goals and advance environmental justice.”

UCS strongly advocates for the acceleration of renewable energy deployment across the country, with a particular focus on ensuring the transition to clean energy is done equitably and does not leave vulnerable, historically burdened communities behind. UCS is a member of the Equitable and Just National Climate Forum (EJNCF), which put forward joint recommendations on the GGRF urging the EPA to design and implement this fund to maximize investments and benefits delivered to disadvantaged and low-income communities. UCS has also worked closely with the Coalition for Green Capital and state green bank programs, as well as contributing to a joint letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s design and implementation.

A recent UCS study found that for the United States to meet its climate goals—including cutting economywide heat-trapping emissions in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions no later than 2050—wind, solar, and other renewables would need to nearly triple from 22% of U.S. electricity generation in 2021 to 60% in 2030, and 92% in 2050. The analysis also found that the IRA’s clean energy incentives provide important momentum for the United States to make major near-term emissions reductions, but those could be at risk if fossil fuel use is expanded simultaneously. Additionally, while the IRA roughly doubles the current pace of annual emissions reductions to about 3% per year through 2030, the country will need to further accelerate its reductions to roughly 5% per year to achieve its climate targets.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.