OFN Lauds $20 Billion Grant Competition to Finance Clean Energy and Fight Climate Change  

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The EPA has opened all applications for competitive grants under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, bringing a total of $27 billion in catalytic capital to spur the nation’s clean energy transition and advance environmental justice

Last week, the EPA opened applications for the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator and the National Clean Investment Fund, both part of the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to finance clean energy products across the country. OFN has been preparing for this opportunity and, together with partners, will pursue an application approach that supports the CDFI industry and increases equitable access to capital in communities disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change. 

In a statement following the announcement, OFN President and CEO Harold Pettigrew said, “OFN applauds the Biden-Harris Administration for this historic investment in our collective future, a clear demonstration of its commitment to addressing climate change aligned with environmental justice. OFN, our partners, and allies across the industry stand prepared to strengthen the community finance ecosystem to advance climate goals and ensure that low-income and underserved communities are not left behind.”

Under the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator, the EPA will make 2-7 awards to nonprofits with a focus on building the capacity of community lenders, including CDFIs, to ensure low-income and disadvantaged communities have access to capital for climate finance. 

The $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund focuses on direct investment to businesses, communities, community lenders, and others. The EPA will make 2-3 awards to nonprofit entities through this program. 

Last month, the EPA opened applications for the $7 billion Solar for All program, which will make grants to governments and nonprofits to bring solar to millions of homes in low-income and disadvantaged communities. 

Across the three grant programs, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund represents a pivotal opportunity to accelerate the clean energy transition and ensure climate justice. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will stem the tide of climate change, and the CDFI industry must be part of the solution in the communities where we operate. 

OFN is supporting CDFIs to take on this new challenge, with training, tools, and resources. Some CDFIs have been doing climate lending for a long time, and others have yet to get started. OFN intends to equip and prepare CDFIs to incorporate climate lending into our work.  

As a network and an industry, this is an unprecedented opportunity to help our communities withstand the impact of climate change.  

Visit our policy action center for information, tools, and other resources to help you advocate on behalf of CDFIs and the communities they serve. 

Take advantage of OFN’s training opportunities 
Join CDFI industry peers at the OFN’s Northeast Regional Meeting (August 9) and take advantage of new OFN training opportunities (August 8 and 10) including the climate lending 101 workshop! Register here.

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