President Biden used his executive authority to create a New Deal-style American Climate Corps, a major green jobs training program that will employ more than 20,000 young adults.
The climate corps will be modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps, created in the 1930s by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Members will work on a wide range of projects, including restoring coastal wetlands, developing clean energy projects, managing forests to prevent wildfires, and implementing energy efficient solutions.
Climate activists have praised the program as a historic step toward fulfilling the vision of conserving and restoring waters and lands and making our communities more resilient to the effects of climate change.
“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,” said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group that has led the push for a climate corps.
The North Carolina Climate Action Corps is launching this fall, with funding from the California Volunteers Climate Action Corps National Expansion Pilot. The program will support 25 Climate Corps members across the state, who will serve with existing NC AmeriCorps programs.
The NC Climate Action Corps will focus on expanding service in areas that are most affected by climate change. Members will work on projects to address heat island effects, manage hazardous fuels, reduce flood risks, and promote healthy food systems.
“In North Carolina, we have prioritized the transition to clean energy and this expansion will bolster our efforts,” said Cooper. “This project will strengthen our clean energy workforce as we continue to lead the way toward a clean energy future.”
The NC Climate Action Corps will also help programs grow with funding to develop unique training programs, explore pathways to climate industry jobs, and increase visibility and recruitment.
The launch of the Climate Action Corps is a welcome development in the nation’s fight against climate change. The program will provide much-needed support to communities that are already being impacted by climate-fueled disasters, and it will help to train a new generation of climate leaders.