Climate Mayors, C40 Cities and Urban Sustainability Directors Network Applaud EPA’s $20B Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Announcement and Urge Local Government Partnership

Climate Mayors, C40 Cities and Urban Sustainability Directors Network Applaud EPA’s $20B Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Announcement and Urge Local Government Partnership

April 4, 2023 – Today, Climate Mayors, C40 Cities and Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) celebrated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) award of the initial $20 billion from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) to deploy green capital into clean energy projects that will cut pollution,create good-paying jobs, and deliver benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities. The GGRF – made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – will be granting $14 billion through the National Clean Investment Fund and $6 billion through the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator to national clean financing institutions and non-profit organizations, respectively. 

Local governments play a vital role in the development and implementation of clean energy projects. The unique roles cities play, detailed in the report Maximizing the Impact of US Federal Climate Investments, makes them essential partners to GGRF recipients in mobilizing capital to protect community health and tackle the climate crisis. Climate Mayors, C40 Cities and USDN encourage GGRF recipients to work with cities to develop investments into equitable housing, transportation, and clean energy technologies. This funding provides cities newfound financial leverage in standing up projects that will improve the quality of life for residents while also mitigating the worst impacts of climate change.

As we know, there’s no climate progress without climate justice. The National Clean Investment Fund requires 40% of projects to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities, while the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator requires 100% of the projects to take place in and benefit low income and disadvantaged communities. City governments are a key ingredient in achieving the full potential of GGRF funds on the ground – giving way to meaningful and equitable partnerships that can catapult cities into their sustainable and equitable futures. Climate Mayors, C40 Cities, and USDN celebrate the EPA’s dedication to serving communities that have been historically underinvested in. 

We look forward to the future announcement of recipients of the $7 billion Solar For All competition. Solar For All is dedicated to expanding the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities primed for residential solar investment. Climate Mayors, C40 and USDN have previously encouraged coordination and partnership with the GGRF program that impacts local communities – we hope to continue working together to make a lasting impact.

“Equitable access to clean and affordable energy is foundational to a sustainable future for cities,” said Kate Wright, Executive Director of Climate Mayors. “This unique fund will allow cities to fully leverage community and private sector partnerships to make historic strides in creating green jobs, reducing air pollution and lowering energy bills for residents. We thank the Biden Administration for making that a possibility, and providing an additional tool to help our Mayors continue to lead the way towards a brighter future.”

“The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a historic opportunity to invest in communities and create a cleaner and more just energy system for all,” said Kate Johnson, Head of US Federal Affairs at C40 Cities. “Cities are uniquely positioned to ensure that the projects funded by GGRF recipients deliver the maximum benefit to people on the ground – cleaner air, good paying jobs, and lower energy bills. C40 applauds the EPA’s action, and encourages all GGRF recipients to partner with mayors to advance transformative, community-driven projects that will improve people’s lives.” 

“Sustainability, climate resilience, and equity are the pillars of a future where every community can thrive,” said Deneine Powell, Executive Director of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. “Through the EPA’s greenhouse gas reduction grant competitions, we are leveling the playing field and ensuring that support and energy equity reach those most vulnerable to climate change. This announcement marks a critical step towards empowering communities nationwide, fostering partnerships that drive innovation in green technology, and securing a healthier, more sustainable environment for all.”

Statement: Climate Mayors and C40 Cities Renew Commitment to Electrifying Transportation in Cities as the EPA Passes Final Emissions Rule for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

March 29, 2024 – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a final rule for the GHG Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3 rule (HDV rule). The new standards will allow cities to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles, eliminate harmful greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and cut fuel and maintenance costs.

The final rule will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles – such as trucks and buses – in model year 2027 and apply new and more stringent standards for model years 2028 through 2032. The EPA’s final standards for vehicles are critical for reducing CO2 emissions and are expected to reduce approximately 1 billion metric tons from 2027 through 2055 and deliver climate benefits at $13 billion per year through the rule. 

This heavy-duty vehicle rule complements the EPA’s action to control air pollution from vehicles under its “National Freight Strategic Plan,” which will support the transition to electrify our nation’s heavy-duty fleets and reduce harmful pollution. By implementing this final rule, the EPA is driving the transition to zero emission fleets of delivery trucks, school buses, and more in cities. 

Mayors are committed to cutting emissions from the transportation sector and increasing the deployment of zero-emission vehicles. Transportation emissions account for nearly 30% of total U.S. carbon emissions with heavy-duty vehicles accounting for nearly 23% of transportation emissions. And while medium-and heavy-duty vehicles only account for a small portion of vehicles on U.S. roads, they generate the majority of harmful emissions. This rule will further bolster the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) which support progress in zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing, consumer adoption, and expansion of charging infrastructure.

By electrifying our vehicle fleets, we can impactfully deliver cleaner air and improved health outcomes in our cities – especially for disadvantaged communities who are disproportionately impacted by harmful pollution from heavy-duty trucks and buses. 

“The EPA standards for heavy-duty vehicles will allow our cities to take critical action to decarbonize the transportation sector, provide cleaner air, and improve public health,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. “Our mayors will continue to strive to reach net zero goals as soon as possible in their cities and towns in order to tackle air pollution in our communities and reduce the rates of asthma and other respiratory illnesses. With these new standards, cities can continue to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles and meet our climate goals.”

“Across the US, mayors are taking action to cut pollution from trucks in their cities to improve air quality, support economic development, and meet their climate goals,” said Kate Johnson, Head of US Federal Affairs at C40 Cities. “The EPA’s final rules for heavy duty vehicles will help cities transition to cleaner vehicles, while delivering important health benefits to environmental justice communities by reducing air pollution along trucking routes. The sooner this transition happens, the better. Along with the powerful actions included in the IRA, BIL, and recent EPA rules on light duty vehicle emissions, the federal government is giving cities the tools to create a healthier, safer, and cleaner future for all.”