It’s been a big month for Dream.Org’s Green For All program and for the climate and economic justice community at large. August marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)! Look for additional content coming from Dream.Org about this historic investment and our role in shaping IRA implementation throughout the month.
One year after the passage of the IRA, we have played a vital role as an equity expert, guiding and shaping the design and criteria of the Inflation Reduction Act climate programs. Dream.Org mobilized thousands of supporters to advocate for Justice40 to be actualized by prioritizing disadvantaged communities and funding technical assistance, community engagement, and economic inclusion provisions. We are proud to report that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) incorporated all of our recommendations in the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund’s green lending programs, creating a funding program that prioritizes innovative climate financing programs and tools that will accelerate the transition to renewable energy and bring billions of dollars to disadvantaged communities across the country.
Over the next 3 years, we will be focused on ensuring these funds reach the communities most impacted by climate change and pollution by defending these investments at the federal level, working with federal agencies on program design and delivery best practices, building the capacity of disadvantaged communities to draw down the funds, and creating work and wealth opportunities for communities of color.
Climate Financing and Implementation
We are bringing people together to develop strategies for meaningful community engagement and equitable program development for the implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Just last week, we formally announced our catalytic partnership with the Coalition for Green Capital to pursue an award from the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund. This fund will create a national green bank network that will provide accessible, affordable financing for tens of thousands of clean technology projects nationwide. We look forward to playing a leading implementation role in the equitable climate infrastructure field and providing a road map for how to drive private and public capital into communities most impacted by poverty and pollution.
Inflation Reduction Act Technical Assistance
Fresno is one of 10 communities across the country participating in Dream.Org’s Transformative Communities Program. For the past 6 months, the Green For All team has been building community-level power in Fresno- providing resources and technical assistance to help them compete for federal climate investments. Dream.Org’s Fresno Transformative Communities Convening co-hosted with EPA Region 9 brought together local, state, and national leaders to announce a $1 million grant for Fresno to create a climate pollution reduction plan. Dream.Org will serve as the bridge between the EPA and the community and local government to ensure that the final plan reflects the community’s shared needs and vision. In addition to participating in the press event, Dream.Org hosted panels and sessions to create space for valuable discussions, innovative ideas, and collaborative efforts among local and regional leaders. We are eager to participate in this planning project to help shape a cleaner, healthier future for Fresno. Dream.Org is partnering with communities across EPA regions to convene similar conversations.
Black and Brown Entrepreneur Pipelines into the Green Economy
As part of Dream.Org's unwavering commitment to promoting economic inclusion and diversity, we proudly co-sponsored the U.S. Minority Contractors Association Forum in June. This event served as a vital platform to foster discussions and connections among diverse entrepreneurs. Our team members moderated the critical panel discussion titled "Accessing Grant and Funding Opportunities: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act."
In collaboration with Village Capital, we recently selected 10 finalists for the Dream Climate Tech Launchpad, a program that will help BIPOC entrepreneurs take their green ideas to the next level.More than 40 startups from 13 states applied to be a part of the program, representing a range of innovative expertise. We are thrilled that 70% of our cohort are led by a female founder or C-suite member, and 100% by a Black or Latinx founder. After months of training in topics like investment readiness, leadership, and business management, the program will culminate in a showcase at the Verge Climate Tech Event Conference in San Jose this October. At Verge, our cohort will pitch their solutions in front of a curated audience of investors, community leaders, and other members of the ecosystem- and ultimately earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital to scale their business.
Green For All Federal Advocacy
Dream.Org held a Lobby Day in Congress to elevate our ask to streamline permitting for clean energy projects while engaging impacted communities and creating economic benefits for everyone. See our blog “Why Progressives Should Join the Fight on Permitting Reform” to learn more about why we are focusing on reshaping the permitting process to bring more renewable energy online, protect communities from pollution, and unleash climate funds-all while maintaining rigorous environmental standards. We also engaged and educated legislators about the looming threats to the appropriations of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds. Recognizing the potential detrimental impact on disadvantaged communities, our team took a proactive stance to advocate for protective measures. By delivering personalized letters to each congressperson representing one of our transformative communities, we aimed to emphasize the importance of safeguarding IRA funds and ensuring their effective utilization in uplifting and empowering these vulnerable neighborhoods. Through our collective efforts, we sought to promote equitable policies that foster socio-economic growth and resilience for marginalized groups.
In the coming months, Dream.Org will expand on its current partnership approach to place-based solutions and continue partnering with entities to implement Inflation Reduction Act Programs aroundJustice40 priorities. We will play a leading role in building coalitions with climate justice organizations, minority-owned businesses, local governments, and financial institutions to draw down these critical funds so they reach the communities that need them the most. Along with our local government and community partners, Dream.Org’s approach will ensure that billions of dollars are accountable to the communities most impacted by poverty and pollution - investments that have the potential to bring a legacy of improved work, health, and wealth to Black and Brown families for generations.