Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Is a Historic Opportunity to Catalyze Billions in Equitable, Green Lending
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK (August 12, 2022) Inclusiv and our network of nearly 500 Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) applaud the leadership of Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi in passing the Inflation Reduction Act. The Act includes a strong and effective framework for equitable climate finance that serves as a catalyst for CDCUs, Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to expand their green lending and ensure the benefits of a greening economy are felt by all.
“This is a historic opportunity for Community Development Credit Unions to access flexible capital to support households in reducing energy cost burdens and preparing for climate events. The Inflation Reduction Act will enable community lenders to create and scale programs to help their members purchase energy efficient appliances, invest in heating\cooling systems, and access solar either directly on their homes or through community solar projects. It also provides opportunities to invest in and support green businesses creating jobs and opportunity in the greening economy.” - Cathie Mahon, President/CEO of Inclusiv
The Inflation Reduction Act’s $27 billion investment in green lending through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a crucial step forward to address the climate crisis. This Fund has the potential to support deeply needed projects that will reduce energy cost burden, increase climate resiliency, and expand energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts. Inclusiv looks forward to working with the many organizations and allies who worked to make this Fund a reality to ensure that capital will be channeled to organizations on the ground that are best positioned to meet local needs.
Indeed, it is critical that these investments not only reach, but prioritize people and communities most affected by the climate crisis, which are often the same people and communities who have been shut out of the mainstream financial system by redlining and other discriminatory practices. CDCUs, MDIs and CDFIs, which specialize in serving the people and communities mainstream financial institutions fail to serve, should play a leading role in ensuring this historic investment in climate finance is deployed successfully.
Inclusiv’s Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy trains community-based lenders across the country on green lending, building capacity and infrastructure to meet the energy efficiency, resiliency and other climate finance needs of communities hardest hit by climate change. More than 350 CDFI, credit union and MDI lenders already offer green lending products and have originated more than $2.68 billion in green loans in recent years. Many of the credit union lenders in this group offer dedicated green loan products for low- and moderate-income and BIPOC communities. In addition to their deep impact, these community-based lenders are typically able to leverage public investment more than tenfold, putting the potential scale of financing for clean energy and climate resiliency from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund at more than $200 billion.
Hundreds of Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy alumni are already successful green lenders that serve the most climate vulnerable communities, and are ready to deploy these critically-needed funds in their communities.
“Our Cooperativa, Jesús Obrero, is part of the critical infrastructure of our community in Puerto Rico. In the event of a natural disaster, we are poised to step in and provide alternative power, access to water, and emergency financing to those who need it. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund means we will be able to expand our support to LMI communities across Puerto Rico and accelerate life-saving solar projects throughout the island.” - Aurelio Arroyo, Executive President of Cooperativa Jesús Obrero in Puerto Rico
“Clean Energy Credit Union is using the proven cooperative business model of credit unions to provide affordable clean energy financing to the entire country. Our mission is to provide loans and services that enable everyone to participate in the clean energy movement. The funds available through the Inflation Reduction Act will further help us address the high energy burden faced by low-to-moderate income, Black, Indigenous, and communities of color across the U.S.” - Terri Mickelsen, CEO of Clean Energy Federal Credit Union in Colorado
“MariSol Federal Credit Union is a CDFI that serves the low- and moderate-income regions around Phoenix, 45% of our membership is Hispanic. We deeply believe that solar fits into our mission of offering our members equitable financial solutions, and it’s clear that low- and moderate-income members of our community need better access to fair solar lending. We have partnered with nonprofit organizations, such as Solar United Neighbors, to develop solar financing that brings the environmental, health, and economic benefits of this technology to our community. The historic climate financing, made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act, will expand this access by enabling us to lower the costs of our solar loans even further.” - Robin Romano, CEO of MariSol Federal Credit Union in Arizona
“As a CDFI, Minority Depository Institution, low-income and Juntos Avanzamos credit union, our members have been left behind in the clean energy transition and disproportionally affected by climate change. We have recently launched a green loan product designed to address this by bringing low-cost clean energy and low-emissions vehicle financing to the low- and moderate-income communities surrounding USC’s campus in Los Angeles. Support from the Inflation Reduction Act will be key to helping us build this program.” - Gary Perez, President, and CEO of USC Credit Union in California
“We have been serving the Tucson, Arizona community for decades and have adapted our products and services to reflect our members’ needs. A few years ago, we noticed a gap in the solar lending market and stepped in to provide affordable solar financing. Fast forward to today and we are the number one solar lender in the Tucson market. In 2022 alone, TOPCU originated over $25 million in new solar loans, providing 759 households with solar arrays. We have created a name for our credit union as a financial institution that cares about the climate, our members, and the local economy.”- Vern Babilon, CEO of Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union (TOPCU)
For media inquiries, contact:
Vice President, Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy
(929) 445-2251 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Communications, Inclusiv
At Inclusiv, we believe that true financial inclusion and empowerment is a fundamental right. We dedicate ourselves to closing the gaps and removing barriers to financial opportunities for people living in distressed and underserved communities. Inclusiv is a certified CDFI intermediary that transforms local progress into lasting national change. We provide capital, make connections, build capacity, develop innovative products and services and advocate for our member community development credit unions (CDCUs). Inclusiv members serve over 18 million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US and hold over $253 billion in community-controlled assets. Founded in 1974, Inclusiv is headquartered in New York, NY, with offices in Madison, WI. For more information about Inclusiv visit us at Inclusiv.org and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union
Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union (TOPCU), based in Arizona, has been serving the Tucson community since 1935. Over the past few years, TOPCU built a robust solar program, offering opportunities for its members to support climate change efforts and reduce monthly utility bills. TOPCU is the number one solar lending in Tucson. In 2022 alone, TOPCU originated $25,564,751.85 in new solar loans, providing 759 households with solar arrays.
Cooperativa Jesús Obrero
Cooperativa Jesús Obrero, based in Puerto Rico, has been an early adapter of solar, installing solar at one of its branches in 2015 to reduce energy bills and maintain power during climate events. Since 2011, Cooperativa Jesus Obrero has financed more than 500 photovoltaic (PV) solar systems in 26 municipalities across the island, and its renewable energy financing portfolio makes up 10% of its total loan portfolio.
Clean Energy Credit Union
Clean Energy Credit Union, based in Colorado, serves the entire United States and was founded to promote clean energy using the cooperative (credit union) business model. The credit union offers several loan products aimed at mitigating climate change, reducing pollution and improving public health, creating jobs and building community wealth, promoting democratic organizations, increasing energy independence, and promoting personal finance independence. Within just five years of operating, Clean Energy Credit Union has funded $110.9 million clean energy loans to 6,929 households, across the United States.
MariSol Federal Credit Union
MariSol Federal Credit Union, based in Arizona, is a CDFI, low-income, and Juntos Avanzamos designated credit union that recently launched a “Green Sun” solar loan program designed to be accessible and affordable to all its members. MariSol’s mission is to empower its members through financial inclusion by providing access to affordable and equitable financial solutions.
USC Credit Union
USC Credit Union, a CDFI, Minority Depository Institution, low-income and Juntos Avanzamos credit union, serves the traditional USC family as well as the LMI communities surrounding USC’s South LA and East LA campuses. Over the past year, USC has been focused on ensuring its members are able to invest in the green economy. It has launched a residential solar loan program and, through partnerships with local non-profits, is poised to launch used electric vehicle financing options for LMI members as well as financing for EV charging stations and commercial solar in inner-city multi-family properties.