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US cities provided with guidebook to implement historic Inflation Reduction Act

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Nov 01, 2022 - 03:54 AM

Climate Mayors, a bipartisan coalition of nearly 500 mayors, and C40 Cities, a network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities, released “Climate Action and the Inflation Reduction Act: A Guide for Local Government Leaders,” a guidebook to help local leaders understand the landmark Inflation Reduction Act and all the resources available to them through the law.

The guidebook – supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies – advises U.S. mayors and city staff on the opportunities for local governments, organisations and businesses to implement the Inflation Reduction Act and address climate change. It highlights where funding could flow directly to cities and where cities will need to collaborate with other partners, including state governments and community organisations, to deploy funding in a way that accelerates climate action and advances equity.

The guidebook specifies five key ways in which local governments should leverage the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act: apply for funding that is directly available to local governments; support and partner with frontline communities to secure resources; assist businesses and individuals to access new tax credits; engage and coordinate with states, tribes, utilities and ports; and protect against detrimental impacts of new or continuing fossil-fuel facilities. It is intended that when local leaders step into these five roles, impact and efficacy will be maximised for the benefit of the community.

Additionally, opportunities for action are broken down into specific sectors to help local leaders understand what specific resources are available. These include: air quality and greenhouse gas reduction, housing, resilience, clean vehicles and workforce development. Within each area, the guidebook outlines the roles and opportunities for local governments, charting a clear route to bold and effective implementation. And with environmental justice sitting at the heart of local climate advocacy, the guidebook underscores the opportunities and pathways to solidify justice and an equitable green transition in communities.

“As funding becomes available, it is critical for local leaders to remember that cities have a unique position as the level of government that’s closest to people on the ground, businesses and cornerstone institutions. The guidebook serves as a reminder that interconnectivity creates a prime opportunity for collaboration, climate success and economic prosperity as we combat the climate crisis,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Climate Mayors Chair and C40 Cities member. “In Houston, this guidebook will help us connect our communities to opportunities, whether it be residents and small businesses looking to install solar panels on their roofs or transition to electric vehicles, or industrial partners looking to decarbonise their operations in the Port of Houston.”

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Climate Mayors Co-Chair, said: “The guidebook provides essential direction in ensuring that people who need assistance the most receive it. We can do this by encouraging leaders to educate local businesses and residents on how to access tax credit incentives allocated for electric vehicles, manufacturing, home energy efficiency and more. Equitable allocation of resources is a paramount aspect of the greening of cities now and in the future. The City of Madison is working to leverage the numerous IRA incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy to expand our existing programmes that support upgrades to naturally occurring affordable housing and rooftop solar for homes and businesses.”

“The Inflation Reduction Act is a historic opportunity for local leaders around the country to boost their efforts to combat climate change and shape the future of sustainable cities and towns,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Vice Chair of C40 Cities and Climate Mayors Co-Chair. “This guidebook will help mayors and city staff understand the diversity of resources provided by this law and identify programmes to address the specific challenges their communities face. In Phoenix, this transformational package will drive energy efficiency improvements and accelerate efforts to achieve tree equity in every neighbourhood by 2030, bolstering resilience to extreme heat and reducing energy bills for Phoenix families.”

“Local climate leadership continues to drive positive change in communities and is essential to accelerating action to meet U.S. climate goals,” said Kelly Shultz of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Empowering local leaders with data and resources to tackle the climate crisis is a core component of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Environment programme. This guidebook will help cities do exactly that by offering tailored insights for leveraging federal funding to support cleaner, healthier and more equitable communities and economies.”

The Inflation Reduction Act opens a critical window of opportunity to implement transformational projects that improve local resilience and sustainability while increasing job creation and energy affordability for communities. Cities have been leading on climate action, but there is still much more to do. With the guidebook and partnership from the federal government, states and the private sector, cities can lead the way to shaping the clean energy economy of the future.

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDEBOOK

About Climate Mayors

Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of over 500 U.S. city mayors who have committed to fighting climate change. Originally founded in 2014 by 3 mayors, the network’s ranks swelled to almost 400 mayors in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in June 2017. Climate Mayors is committed to accelerating equitable climate action to help each member city achieve their climate goals, while working together city-to-city, with states, and the Biden administration to increase national climate ambition. For more information, please visit our website and follow Climate Mayors on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

C40 is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities who are working to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. Through a Global Green New Deal, mayors are working alongside a broad coalition of representatives from labor, business, the youth climate movement and civil society to go further and faster than ever before.

The current Chair of C40 is Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania.

Source: C40

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