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Monday, June 17, 2024

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Biden-Harris Administration Launches American Climate Corps

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic climate agenda, yesterday the Administration launched the American Climate Corps, a workforce training and service initiative that will ensure more young people have access to the skills-based training necessary for good-paying careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy.

The American Climate Corps will mobilize a new, diverse generation of more than 20,000 Americans – putting them to work conserving and restoring our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, deploying clean energy, implementing energy efficient technologies, and advancing environmental justice, all while creating pathways to high-quality, good-paying clean energy and climate resilience jobs in the public and private sectors after they complete their paid training program.

Leaders from across the country praised the announcement. Here’s what they’re saying:

Environmental Leaders

Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, Sunrise Movement: “Three years ago, I sat on then Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders‘ Unity Climate Task Force and shared one of Sunrise Movement’s top priorities for the future Administration – a Civilian Climate Corps, a visionary jobs program to put thousands of young people to work in real career pathways fighting for their future. Now, after years of demonstrating and fighting for a Climate Corps, we turned a generational rallying cry into a real jobs program that will put a new generation to work stopping the climate crisis. With the ACC and the historic climate investments won by our broader movement, the path towards a Green New Deal is beginning to become visible. Today’s historic action to put an American Climate Corps into motion is a clear demonstration that the Biden Administration knows there are more ways they can leverage executive power to lead an all out mobilization of our government and society to stop the climate crisis. Young people everywhere should feel empowered by this victory and continue demanding the change we need. This past summer we saw record climate disasters, record labor strikes demanding good, meaningful work, and major climate protests led by young people. The American Climate Corps is a response that begins to meet the moment and show young people how their government can work for them. We’re often asked how President Biden can win the support and enthusiasm of young people. He’s gotten our attention. Keep going.” [Statement, 9/20/2023]

Andrew Reagan, Executive Director, Clean Energy for America: “A 21st-century Climate Corps has the potential to meaningfully grow the American clean energy workforce, allowing us to meet the moment and lead the global competition to build the carbon free future. Clearly, President Biden is committed to empowering America’s clean energy workers, in stark contrast to congressional Republicans who continue to seek new ways to defund good-paying jobs.” [Statement, 9/20/23]

Matt Compton, Chief of Staff, Climate Power: “President Biden is a champion of the American worker and the American economy. His climate plan has already created hundreds of thousands of jobs and fueled a clean energy manufacturing boom across the country. It’s ushering in good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree and that build invaluable skill sets that workers can leverage over the long term. The American Climate Corps is an investment in our environment, our economy, and our future.” [Statement, 9/20/23]

Manish Bapna, President and CEO, Natural Resources Defense Council: “In every great challenge this country has faced, it has turned to the essential strength of its people, united around a common goal. This combines national service with workforce training to rally a new generation around the need to confront the existential challenge of our time. This will build a versatile corps of workers with the skills to help conserve and restore waters and lands, make our communities more resilient, speed the shift to clean energy and advance environmental justice. That’s a sound investment in the next generation. It’s a visionary bet on the country’s future.” [Statement, 9/20/2023]

Collin O’Mara, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation: “The American Climate Corps is an innovative way to put young people to work restoring natural resources, bolstering resilience, and revitalizing communities. It’s the ultimate win-win-win. President Biden’s executive action is the first step toward creating a truly modern conservation corps that can address the challenges we face and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders.” [Statement, 9/20/2023]

Trevor Dolan, Industry and Workforce Policy Lead, Evergreen Action: “Young people growing up amid the climate crisis have an acute understanding of what we’re up against—and now they have an opportunity to fight it head-on. The same voters that delivered the election for President Biden in 2020 overwhelmingly favored the creation of a climate corps, and today the president answered their call. With the announcement of the American Climate Corps, President Biden’s administration has taken a big step toward delivering good jobs for young people in the booming clean energy economy. Young people growing up amid the climate crisis have an acute understanding of what we’re up against—and now they have an opportunity to fight it head-on. The same voters that delivered the election for President Biden in 2020 overwhelmingly favored the creation of a climate corps, and today the president answered their call. With the announcement of the American Climate Corps, President Biden’s administration has taken a big step toward delivering good jobs for young people in the booming clean energy economy.” [Statement, 9/20/2023]

Ben Jealous, Executive Director, Sierra Club: “We need an all hands on deck approach to address the climate crisis, and the Biden-Harris Administration establishing an American Climate Corps – with specific opportunities for youth to work in climate resilience careers – is a historic effort to meet this moment. The Climate Corps will mobilize young people, workers, and federal resources in a way never seen before. The Sierra Club celebrates the Biden-Harris Administration for scaling up clean energy, increasing well-paid union jobs, and fostering environmental stewardship — exactly the path we must take to protect people and the planet.” [Statement, 9/20/2023]

Margie Alt, Director, Climate Action Campaign: “Establishing the American Climate Corps is an important step that will help create national purpose and better position the U.S. to meet the 50-52% reduction in climate pollution that President Biden committed to and scientists say is essential.  After delivering historic climate and clean energy investments in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), it makes great sense that we would recruit the workers we need to build our 100% clean economy. The president’s climate and clean energy plan is investing in today’s electricians, plumbers, carpenters and builders. The Climate Corps will make sure we have the best-trained and highly-skilled workforce we need for years to come. With this action, President Biden is delivering on his promise to tackle the climate crisis and create opportunity for all. And he’s putting a down payment on the work left to be done to finish the job on climate before it is too late.” [Statement, 9/20/2023]

Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps: “The Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps applauds President Biden’s leadership today with the announcement of the American Climate Corps. The White House’s call for coordination across federal agencies implementing the historic IRA and IIJA with AmeriCorps and Department of Labor can unlock our country’s potential to build a climate-ready workforce by utilizing the power of national service to engage the next generation to tackle climate resilience and mitigation challenges in local communities. By formalizing this new initiative through interagency collaboration with AmeriCorps and developing youth workforce development pipelines into climate, environmental resilience, and clean energy careers, we can create a much-needed talent pipeline that bolsters these growing industries and puts youth on pre-apprenticeship pathways to family-sustaining jobs.” [Statement, 9/20/2023]

Jeff Ordower, North American Director, 350.org: “This is a major win for the climate movement. We thank all of the young people and youth-led organizations who have been calling for this and we look forward to seeing tens of thousands more young people trained and employed to fight the climate crisis in the coming year. This is Biden using his Executive Power for climate action, which is important to see. We hope that that is the beginning of real, sustained, substantive climate leadership, because the biggest demand that the people—including the youth—have been calling for en masse all week, and for decades, is to end fossil fuels. We can’t stave off climate catastrophe without that part. So the next step is for Biden to use those same executive powers to Declare a Climate Emergency, and to commit to phasing out fossil fuels on the timeline the crisis demands. We celebrate today’s win, but we also can’t ignore that as the Climate Ambition Summit proceeds today, Biden won’t be at the table. He needs to do better, and this is only a start.” [Statement, 9/20/23]

Kim LaFleur, NACD President: “Opportunities to get ‘boots on ground’ with conservation districts provides the next generation meaningful development opportunities and leadership roles within local communities. These emerging leaders can benefit greatly from the decades of expertise that exist within conservation districts, empowering them to take on the climate challenge and deploy innovative solutions through the locally led conservation delivery system.” [Statement, 9/20/23]

NRDC: “Amazing action from President Biden! This will help prepare a generation to confront the climate crisis, conserve and restore waters and lands, and advance environmental justice.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

LCV: “Absolutely incredible news to start the day! The American Climate Corps will give more than 20,000 young people training for green jobs while also fighting the climate crisis. Thank you to @POTUS and all the activists and organizers who fought for years to make this happen.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

EDF Action: “When we invest in young workers, we invest in a brighter future. ” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

CAP Energy Policy: BREAKING: @WhiteHouse announces a new initiative to employ 20K young people to combat the climate crisis. This Climate Corps will create essential career pathways to building a sustainable future for all. [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Dayenu: We’ve supported a Civilian Climate Corps from the start because a just, livable future can only be built by good, green jobs. Thrilled to see this vision become a reality! [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Moms Clean Air Force: “Breaking: Biden is creating an American Climate Corps via executive action after a similar proposal was dropped from the Inflation Reduction Act.” [Twitter, 3/20/23]

Earth Justice: “We agree @POTUS. Young people are ready to tackle the climate crisis and environmental justice. The American Climate Corps is a great opportunity to harness their enthusiasm and train the next generation of climate leaders.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Earth Justice: “Young people are on the frontlines of the climate movement. The American Climate Corps will provide a pathway to good-paying green jobs, invest in environmental justice communities, and fight climate change.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Congressional Leaders

Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse: “Since first being elected to Congress, I have proudly championed legislation creating a new 21st century Civilian Climate Corps. One that will work for our generation, while taking inspiration from the program responsible for creating wonders across my home state of Colorado—from the Red Rocks Amphitheater to the countless roads, trails, and campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park. Since first being elected to Congress, I have proudly championed legislation creating a new 21st century Civilian Climate Corps. One that will work for our generation, while taking inspiration from the program responsible for creating wonders across my home state of Colorado—from the Red Rocks Amphitheater to the countless roads, trails, and campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park.” [Statement, 9/20/2023] 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: “BIG NEWS: Thanks to the hard work of youth activists across the country, President Biden just announced he’s creating an American Climate Corps. I’ve pushed hard for this. A new climate corps will help create pathways to good-paying green jobs!” [Tweet, 9/20/2023]

Chairwoman, Senate Appropriations Committee, Washington Senator Patty Murray: “This is great news that’ll turbocharge our investments in clean energy and help us fight the climate crisis—all while creating good-paying jobs in the process!” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey: “I couldn’t be more excited that President Biden is creating a Climate Corps. Thank you. Join us at 4pm to celebrate and continue this movement for jobs, justice, and climate action.” [Tweet, 9/20/2023]

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: “The creation of the American Climate Corps will mobilize young people who care so deeply about the future of our planet and who are ready to take on the existential threat of climate change. It’s a good start. Let’s go forward together.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich: “As the first AmeriCorps alum in the Senate, I have been calling to create a Climate Corps for years. There is a lot of work to do to solve climate change and build our clean energy future—young Americans are eager to be the heroes in this story. We need to invest in providing them the training and opportunities they need to pursue emerging career fields at the center of building climate solutions. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we will ever face. But solving it will also be one of the greatest career and wealth creation opportunities in our lifetimes. Through the American Climate Corps—much like the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s—a whole new generation of Americans can step up to restore our lands and waters, install and maintain clean energy infrastructure, and build healthier and more resilient communities.” [Statement, 9/20/23]

Ranking Member, House Natural Resources Committee, Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva: “Young people all over the country have made their voices loud and clear—they want climate action, they want a cleaner, more just future, and they stand ready to be part of the solution now. The American Climate Corps will put thousands of young people to work in good-paying jobs that restore our public lands and coastlines and deploy clean energy, all while growing our middle class and advancing environmental justice for all. I’m grateful to President Biden for listening to the younger generations of our country and giving them the kinds of opportunities they deserve.” [Statement, 9/20/23]

California Congressman Ro Khanna: “A Civilian Climate Corps will create thousands of good-paying union jobs & help us build a clean economy. Thanks @POTUS for listening to the young activists who pushed for this along with @SenMarkey , @RepAOC , my colleagues & I as we’ve called for executive action.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

California Congressman Jared Huffman: “Great news from @POTUS ! This will mobilize a new generation of conservation and climate workers to help our communities address climate change. I’ve been pushing with @RepAOC @RepNeguse, @SenMarkey , and countless enviro champions to make this happen. ” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

California Congressman Adam Schiff: “We need to take unprecedented action to address the climate crisis. Creating good jobs focused on conservation, advancing environmental justice, and tackling climate change? That’s a great step.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse: “Since first joining Congress, I have championed the launch of a 21st Century Civilian Climate Corp that invests in wildfire resiliency, our national forests and more. Excited to see @POTUS take action and announce the creation of this new program!” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester: “To quote @POTUS , when I think climate, I think jobs. As the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Future of Work Caucus in Congress, I applaud President Biden for taking this critical step in preparing our young people to take on some of the most in-demand clean energy jobs.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Florida Congressman Maxwell Frost: “Hell yea. @AOC and @EdMarkey have been champions of this in Congress. They just reintroduced the bill a few days ago. A perfect example of Organizing WITH movements and winning.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes: “Pleased to see this announcement from the Biden Administration. Climate Corps will empower young people to get involved in the fight against climate change, create thousands of good-paying jobs and help us transition to a clean energy economy.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “MAJOR victory today In 2021, we proposed the Climate Corps and launched a massive inside-outside organizing effort to win it. Today, the American Climate Corps has finally come true. Thank you to @POTUS and the countless communities and organizers who made this a reality” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

New York Congresswoman Yvette Clarke: “Celebrating today’s incredible announcement of the New Deal-style American Climate Corps – a major green jobs training program for a new generation. Thank you to @POTUS and his administration for prioritizing climate action by investing in clean energy and climate resilience.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman: “I am excited to celebrate President Biden’s announcement of the American Climate Corps to bring good-paying union jobs to our young people and facilitate our transition to clean energy and a climate resilient economy. We are facing a climate catastrophe that is causing devastating extreme weather and growing threats to our communities. It’s time for unprecedented investments in solutions to this crisis that will also strengthen our economy, improve our lives, and protect our homes, schools, and workplaces. We also cannot have a just and climate resilient society without a focus on equity for our most vulnerable. I am glad that this program will prioritize those values, creating pathways towards long-term, good-paying careers for marginalized groups and supporting the resiliency and rebuilding of redlined communities. As our planet is heating up, schools are crumbling, towns are flooding, and young people struggle to afford basic necessities, the American Climate Corps is just the beginning of the many ways President Biden can confront this crisis head on.” [Statement, 9/20/23]

Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur: “I applaud the Biden Administration for taking this momentous step, and I look forward to reintroducing my Civilian Climate Corps legislation that will help expand and build on this new effort to help create climate resiliency across our nation.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Pennsylvania Congresswoman Summer Lee: “BIG NEWS in our fight for Climate Justice and sustainable green jobs. The American Climate Corps will mobilize more than 20,000 young Americans to work on the frontlines of conservation, clean energy and climate resilience. This win belongs the young organizers & activists!! ” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Vermont Congresswoman Becca Balint: “Huge news for our green economy! The Climate Corp will provide good paying union jobs, bolster resilience, advance environmental justice, & deploy clean energy, to tackle the climate crisis. This is the result of tireless work of young activists & this is just the beginning!” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Coalition & Constituency Leaders

Voters of Tomorrow: “The American Climate Corps is a vision championed by Gen Z, and today, President Biden made it a reality. Gen Z is ready to get to work building a stronger, greener America with good-paying jobs. Through the Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden delivered a historic investment of over $350 billion in our country’s clean energy future. Now, in just the first year of the American Climate Corps, over 20,000 young people nationwide will be provided with high-demand training that enables access to good-paying jobs in the growing clean energy economy. It seems that almost daily, the Biden-Harris Administration unveils a new initiative that young organizers have been calling for. That’s no accident — it’s because we have leaders in The White House who care about our futures. The Climate Corps was a proposal designed by the Sunrise Movement that Voters of Tomorrow integrated into our Gen Z Agenda. Last year, we took the Agenda to Washington, sharing our policies with The White House and over 100 Congressional offices. Ultimately, today’s announcement demonstrates the power of young people in creating concrete change through our votes and voices.” [Statement, 9/20/23]

NextGen America: “BREAKING: President Biden announced he’s formally establishing an American Climate Corps, which will put more than 20,000 young people on career pathways to fight the climate crisis! This is a long-fought MAJOR victory and we can’t wait to see it in action!” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Gen-Z for Change: “If we make our voices load enough, our priorities clear enough, and the movement strong enough, nothing is impossible. Congrats to all who contributed to this incredible victory out of the White House today. Let’s keep going.” [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Moore County NAACP: Biden uses executive power to create a New Deal-style American Climate Corps [Tweet, 9/20/23]

Tori Goebel, YECA National Organizer & Spokesperson: “The American Climate Corps provides career building opportunities for a new generation of workers while striving for community resilience and a clean energy future. Young people are facing converging crises and we need new opportunities that help to combat both environmental injustice and the economic uncertainty caused by problems like low wages, unemployment, and mounting student loan debt. Bold workforce development plans are what we need to start building a better, more just future for all communities in the U.S. As young Christians, we want our leaders to rise to this historic moment and take bold action. We welcome this new initiative from the Biden-Harris Administration and will continue to advocate for good-paying jobs and a clean energy future.” [Statement, 9/20/2023]

Business & Industry Leaders

Adam Cramer, CEO, Outdoor Alliance: “Outdoor Alliance is thrilled to see the President take executive action today to launch the American Climate Corps. This excellent idea will tackle overlapping problems, offering good jobs for young people addressing climate change, demand for outdoor recreation, and aging outdoor recreation infrastructure. The American Climate Corps is a shrewd investment in future generations and the future of our public lands.” [Statement, 9/20/23]

Kent Ebersole, President, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA): “It is outstanding to see this administration take another big step forward in the fight to conserve and restore our lands and waters, bolster community resilience, and modernize the country’s outdoor infrastructure for the 168 million Americans who participate in outdoor recreation every year. Tackling climate change requires tremendous leadership at all levels of government and industry. The Biden administration continues to deliver on their ambitious conservation agenda, from five new national monument designations and land protections to this newly redesigned Civilian Climate Corps. These policies are imperative not only to turn the tide on climate change, but to safeguard our environment and the long-term economic health of the $862 billion outdoor recreation industry.” [Statement, 9/20/2023]

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Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/09/21/what-they-are-saying-biden-harris-administration-launches-american-climate-corps/

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