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Inside the Greenhouse is a monthly update on FCNL’s environmental advocacy and the emerging climate issues that impact our work.   

Latest from Capitol Hill

Last week, the House passed the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R. 4665), which will provide appropriations for foreign assistance, including international climate funding for developing countries. We’ve voiced significant concerns with the House bill and rejected amendments to weaken human security and climate protections. FCNL’s advocacy successfully stopped a proposed amendment that sought to cut $10 million for the Global Environment Facility, which funds global sustainable forestry and biodiversity efforts.

However, Congress has failed to finalize the FY24 appropriations bills. It narrowly avoided a government shutdown this past Saturday by passing a continuing resolution that keeps the government open for 45 more days.

We are now entering crunch time. Our advocacy for international climate assistance for our neighbors in developing countries is critical. Take action today to urge Congress to fund international climate assistance to ensure this critical work isn’t left behind.

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President Biden Announces American Climate Corps Program

President Joe Biden recently announced a new program to train young people for green jobs. FCNL members advocated last year for the creation of a youth climate program as part of the Build Back Better Act, but Congress did not pass it. Now, the administration aims to train 20,000 young people for high-quality, well-paid jobs in clean energy and climate resilience sectors. This initiative tackles crucial tasks such as land and water conservation, community resilience building, and deployment of clean and community-based energy solutions. Energy-efficient technologies will reduce consumer costs and contribute to environmental justice—a long-overdue imperative.

Highlighting the American Climate Corps’ commitment to inclusivity and climate justice, Biden’s climate adviser, Ali Zaidi, emphasized collaboration with apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs nationwide to channel individuals from diverse backgrounds into these programs.

EPA Unveils $4.6 Billion for State Climate Efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled $4.6 billion in competitive grants to help states, cities, and tribal governments tackle climate change. These grants fund programs that actively address climate pollution, promote environmental justice, and deploy clean energy solutions.

This funding comes from the $5 billion Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program we advocated for the Inflation Reduction Act (P.L. 117-169). These grants empower communities to shape their clean energy future, while also creating jobs and economic opportunities. The program also aligns with the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative, as it seeks to ensure that benefits flow to disadvantaged and marginalized communities.

What We’re Reading:

Daren Caughron

Daren Caughron

Legislative Manager, Sustainable Energy and Environment

Daren is FCNL’s legislative manager for sustainable energy and environment. He lobbies Congress to support action to respond to the climate crisis and prevent the further degradation of our communities and our planet.