What is The American Climate Corps?

The White House has unveiled a potentially ground-breaking climate initiative: The American Climate Corps. It is aimed at tackling the climate crisis and creating job opportunities for Americans. It is set to mobilize over 20,000 individuals in the clean energy and climate resilience sectors.

What is The American Climate Corps supposed to do?

According to the White House, this initiative will train young people in clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience skills. It will not only address climate action but also promise good-paying careers, emphasizing a commitment to sustainable, fair, and resilient communities in the face of our changing climate. It also aims to streamline pathways into civil service, offering the opportunity for meaningful and impactful careers in these critical fields.

Comparisons have been drawn between the American Climate Corps and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps. The latter was established in 1933 as part of the New Deal. Just as the Civilian Conservation Corps put millions of Americans to work on projects that enhanced the nation's infrastructure, the American Climate Corps aims to conserve our environment, strengthen community resilience, promote environmental justice, and address the pressing climate crisis.

White House climate policy adviser Ali Zaidi, speaking about the program, underscored the importance of the American Climate Corps. He stated that it opens up pathways to bold climate action and decarbonization while also creating opportunities for individuals to engage in long-lasting, impactful work.

Why did The White House Launch The American Climate Corps?

The launch of the American Climate Corps comes at a time when the climate crisis remains a pressing concern among citizens. President Biden's approval rating on the climate crisis has faced challenges, with 57% of respondents disapproving of his handling of the issue in a July 2023 poll.

In response to these challenges, House and Senate Democrats have sent a letter to President Biden, urging him to issue an executive order to establish the Civilian Climate Corps initiative.

This initiative is not entirely new; it was previously proposed as part of the Build Back Better Act framework but was later omitted from the smaller Inflation Reduction Act that Congress passed. The original proposal envisioned a corps with over 300,000 members, focusing on conserving public lands, enhancing community resilience, and confronting the climate crisis while providing good-paying union jobs.

The American Climate Corps is not just an environmental initiative; it could be an opportunity to shape a more sustainable and equitable future while offering meaningful careers to thousands of Americans. Large-scale initiatives like these have the potential to pave the way for more national and global solutions that aid the fight for sustainability. Whether this initiative actualizes its potential, only time will tell.

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