FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY (June 21, 2023) – Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) are already leading the way in building resilient, healthy and green communities, and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) will accelerate this transformation by financing an ecosystem that will deliver energy efficiency and solar access for households and small businesses in low-income communities, rural communities and communities of color.
Today, Cathie Mahon, Inclusiv President/CEO, delivered testimony to the Senate Climate Change Task Force on the key role CDCUs can play in advancing climate solutions and equity by deploying Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund resources to the underserved urban, rural, reservation-based, and historically redlined communities the Fund is intended to reach.
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is poised to catalyze more than $200 billion in investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects, creating good jobs, improving health outcomes by reducing air pollution, and addressing deep racial and ethnic disparities in energy cost burdens. Low-income and under-resourced communities have historically been excluded from mainstream climate finance despite well-documented needs for energy-efficient home improvements, lower utility and fuel costs, and other clean energy solutions. Ensuring GGRF funding reaches these communities by investing in CDCUs will not only advance equity but also accelerate greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
Inclusiv was honored to join our allies in the Community Builders of Color Coalition to discuss the transformative potential of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and the ways community development credit unions can amplify the Fund’s impact. Community Development Credit Unions see both a responsibility and opportunity to make their communities greener and more resilient. They often serve the communities located on the frontlines of climate change that have the poorest air quality, highest energy burden and the most vulnerability to climate events like hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a critical opportunity to create more equitable environmental, energy and financial outcomes across the country.
Since CDCUs serve the communities most affected by the current injustices in our energy system and by climate change, they are growing their green lending expertise to meet their communities’ needs. Over 300 CDCUs offer dedicated green loan products, and a small sample of just 30 credit unions have reported a combined investment of almost $1B in green projects over the last three years, a figure that will grow significantly once the GGRF is implemented.
As just one example, Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union has been serving Arizona since 1935. They provided $25 million in solar loans in just the past year. They are one of the largest solar lenders in Tucson and a Community Development Financial Institution, demonstrating credit unions can build a scalable business by financing clean energy projects for low- and moderate-income households.
For media inquiries, contact:
Neda Arabshahi, Vice President, Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy, (929) 445-2251
Kyiakhalid Ruiz, Director of Communications, Inclusiv, (212) 809-1850 x210
Founded in 1974, Inclusiv empowers its member credit unions to advance financial inclusion for everyone through advocacy, education, technology, and investment initiatives designed to create wealth-building opportunities in communities excluded from the financial mainstream.
Inclusiv was instrumental in establishing the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund in 1994, is a certified CDFI intermediary, and a permanent member of the national CDFI Coalition.