Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday announced that the NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, a division of the Governor’s office, has secured funding to create the North Carolina Climate Action Corps as part of the Climate Action Corps National Expansion Pilot through the California Volunteers.
The Governor’s Climate Action Corps will support 25 Climate Corps members across the state. These members will serve with existing NC AmeriCorps programs, with an investment of nearly $1 million starting in the fall of 2023.
“In North Carolina, we have prioritized the transition to clean energy and this expansion will bolster our efforts,” Cooper said. “This project will strengthen our clean energy workforce as we continue to lead the way toward a clean energy future.”
The N.C. Climate Action Corps will help programs grow with funding to develop unique training programs, explore pathways to climate industry jobs, Climate Action Corps branding to increase visibility and recruitment as well as opportunity to expand to additional programs in the state. The N.C. Climate Action Corps will expand service in areas that are most affected by climate change.
These Climate Action Corps AmeriCorps members will address climate issues throughout the state including: enlist service members for projects to address heat island effects by establishing tree cover and engaging community members in learning about the role of trees in improving air quality and absorbing carbon; assist communities in managing hazardous fuels and reintroducing prescribed fire to protect communities from future catastrophic wildfires; address flood risk to build and restore living shorelines, manage riparian buffers, and implement land management practices that buffer communities from the impacts of flooding and extreme storms; and/or promote healthy food systems by working with communities to identify and build out community garden or urban/suburban agriculture to promote local food production while providing a gathering space for residents to learn about the connections between food and health outcomes.
North Carolina is leading the way to a clean energy economy while protecting our environment:
♦ In January 2022, Gov. Cooper issued Executive Order No. 246 affirming the state’s commitment to a clean energy economy and directing next steps in the state’s plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while creating economic opportunities for all North Carolinians
♦ In October 2022, Cooper signed Executive Order No. 271, helping the state prepare for the move to zero-emission electric vehicles.
♦ In 2021, Cooper signed Executive Order 218 that reaffirmed North Carolina’s commitment to offshore wind power as the state transitions to a clean energy economy and established offshore wind development goals of 2.8 gigawatts off the North Carolina coast by 2030 and 8.0 GW by 2040. Achieving these goals would power roughly 2.3 million homes across the state by 2040 and create thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs. In addition to creating economic benefits across North Carolina, these offshore wind goals would help reach the statutory requirements of 2021’s House Bill 951, which requires a 70 percent reduction in power sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
For more information about North Carolina Climate Action Corps, visit the website.