Inflation Reduction Act programs add to list of over 500 federal programs now covered under President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative
WASHINGTON – Today, the Biden-Harris Administration published the list of Inflation Reduction Act programs working to advance the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. By expanding the Justice40 Initiative to include Inflation Reduction Act programs, the Biden-Harris Administration is helping ensure communities that have been historically underinvested in can access the benefits of the largest climate investment in history and a core pillar of Bidenonomics.
The 74 Inflation Reduction Act grant, rebate, loan and other funding programs now covered by the Justice40 Initiative together add up to over $118 billion in federal funding. In addition, many of the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax credits will benefit disadvantaged communities because the law provides bonus incentives for private sector clean energy development in low-income areas and in energy communities. With the addition of Inflation Reduction Act programs, now 518 programs across 19 federal agencies are being reimagined and transformed through the Justice40 Initiative to maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities such as cleaner air, good-paying jobs, and affordable clean energy.
“For far too long, communities that have borne the brunt of power plant and industrial pollution have been left out and left behind,” said John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation. “The Inflation Reduction Act and President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative change that by bringing new investment, clean energy, and good-paying jobs to disadvantaged communities.”
“President Biden believes that every person has the right to drink clean water, breathe clean air, and to live in a healthy community,” said Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Through the President’s Justice40 Initiative and the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest investment in clean energy and climate action ever – we are delivering on that commitment and making a positive difference in communities that have been left behind for too long.”
“President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act is delivering the largest climate and clean energy investment in history while lowering costs for families,” said Nani Coloretti, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. “The Administration is ensuring that this landmark legislation advances the President’s Justice40 Initiative, benefitting communities across the country that have borne the brunt of environmental injustice and historic disinvestment.”
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) also announced it is taking the next step to update the Biden-Harris Administration’s Environmental Justice Scorecard, a first-of-its-kind accountability tool launched in April 2023 that assesses progress federal agencies are making to advance environmental justice, including through the Justice40 Initiative. CEQ is seeking public input to inform future versions of the Environmental Justice Scorecard, which will provide additional information and updates on the benefits of Justice40 covered programs.
Disadvantaged communities across the country are already seeing the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act’s historic investments. A new analysis from the Rhodium Group and MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research found that 44.5% of clean investment in the year following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act occurred in disadvantaged communities as defined by CEQ’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. In August, the Treasury Department also found that low-income communities are benefitting disproportionately from IRA-related investments—with 65% going to counties with higher poverty rates and nearly 90% going to counties with lower wages.
Other highlights of Inflation Reduction Act programs covered by Justice40 include:
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is investing $1 billion to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change, and improve access to nature in disadvantaged communities. In support of the Justice40 Initiative, all 385 awardees are working to increase equitable access to trees and nature, and the benefits they provide for cooling city streets, improving air quality, and promoting food security.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Green and Resilient Retrofit Program has awarded $100 million for energy efficiency and climate resilience renovations for 1,500 low-income households. These investments will directly benefit residents of HUD-assisted housing, each in a disadvantaged community in alignment with the Justice40 Initiative, by making homes more resilient to extreme weather events and enhancing communities’ ability to more quickly respond to and recover from such events.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund program, which will ultimately award $27 billion for clean energy and clean air investments across the country. At least $18.6 billion will be dedicated to low-income and disadvantaged communities in support of the Justice40 Initiative. These competitive grant opportunities will mobilize private capital into clean technology projects to create good-paying jobs and lower energy costs for families while cutting harmful pollution to protect people’s health and tackle the climate crisis.
A full list of federal programs covered by the Justice40 Initiative can be found here.
The public can submit input to inform future versions of the Environmental Justice Scorecard for 60 days following publication of the request for information in the Federal Register at docket CEQ-2023-0005 at www.regulations.gov.
More information on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative can be found on the Justice40 Initiative page of the White House website. More information on the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate and clean energy programs, including open funding opportunities, can be found at www.cleanenergy.gov and www.grants.gov.