The discussion around climate change has grown more fiery over this Climate Week, thanks to the wild weather that plagued this summer. While many have criticized the Biden administration for their failures against climate change, a recently unveiled federal program seems to be a step in the right direction for the president.
On Wednesday, the White House unveiled the American Climate Corps, a program partnered with AmeriCorps, set to “mobilize the next generation of clean energy, conservation and resilience workers.”
This isn’t the first climate change initiative from the Biden administration. A similar program called the Civilian Climate Corps was initially pitched alongside the Build Back Better Act in the New Deal but ultimately failed to pass in Congress.
According to the press release, this new federal program will train over 20,000 young people in its first year, prioritizing communities left behind, towards clean energy and climate resilience jobs both in the public and private sectors.
According to the White House, this program is intended to draw in participants from marginalized communities that have been disproportionately affected by climate change.
Additionally, the program aims to partner with various state and local governments, unions, tribal, philanthropies, and more to expand skills-based training partnerships, apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships in clean energy and climate-based careers.
More information on the program will be released in the coming months. An official American Climate Corps website was also launched for interested parties to sign up to learn more.
White House climate policy adviser Ali Zaidi and AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith, shared their thoughts on the new initiative.
“This is important because we’re not only opening up pathways to bold climate action, we’re not just opening up pathways to decarbonization, we’re opening up pathways to good paying careers, lifetimes of being involved in the work of making our communities more sustainable, more fair, more resilient in the face of a changing climate,” said Zaidi.
“President Biden’s American Climate Corps is a bold and necessary response to the concerns of young people across America,” said Smith. “From record heat and extreme flooding to devastating wildfires, climate change is an existential threat to life as we know it. AmeriCorps members have been combatting these threats since our founding and we’re prepared to accelerate and strengthen our response…”