The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), landmark climate legislation passed in August 2022, has the potential to transform the green lending landscape through the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The Fund will catalyze critical investments in energy efficiency and clean energy across the country, with a focus on reaching low-income communities and communities of color that have historically been excluded from investments in the green economy and disproportionately harmed by air pollution, energy cost burden and natural disasters caused by climate change. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund’s success will be measured, in part, by whether 40% of the benefits of the Fund flow to these historically disinvested and pollution-burdened communities, as required by the Justice40 ­Initiative.

The credit union movement is key to ensuring that the IRA’s tax credits and the Fund’s investments meet Justice40 goals, given that community development and mission-driven credit unions are inclusive, diverse and many are already engaged in high-impact green lending across the country.

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