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Apr 4, 2024

National Bankers Association Congratulates the Justice Climate Fund on its’ selection by the EPA for their Clean Communities Investment Accelerator Program

(Washington, DC/April 4, 2024) — The National Bankers Association (NBA) congratulates the Justice Climate Fund (JCF) on being selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a recipient of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA) program. The NBA is a founding member of the Community Builders of Color Coalition, the foundational group behind forming the Justice Climate Fund (JCF)


The JCF received $940 million as an award recipient. And while this is notable, the NBA is disappointed. This award pales in comparison to the 151-year track record, $349 billion asset size, and capacity of the minority depository institutions (MDI) in the JCF ecosystem to address the threats that underserved communities deal with because of climate change. NBA research shows zip codes with an MDI branch have higher climate risk exposure for heat, wind, flood, and fire. It is for this reason, the NBA fought for MDIs and community lenders to be included in GGRF. When called upon to be supportive of the program, the NBA was. Today, we feel unsupported.


The GGRF, created by the Biden administration, is a $27 billion fund intended to support efforts to combat climate change and reduce air pollution, focusing on low-income and historically disadvantaged communities. People of color are three times more likely than white people to live in places with substantial air pollution and are also more exposed to heat stress and extreme weather events. The Community Builders of Color Coalition’s mission is to ensure that climate financing and economic revitalization investments are directed to these underserved communities. These projects will be geared toward affordably financing clean energy projects to deliver healthier air, greener transportation, cleaner water, and better-paying jobs. 


As Nicole Elam, CEO and President of the National Bankers Association, stated, “Minority depository institutions (MDIs) are located within communities of color and will be instrumental in financing green funding projects in those same communities. That’s why we are pleased to be part of the Justice Climate Fund and its work to scale the nationwide deployment of affordable, equitable, clean energy improvements for disadvantaged families, businesses, and communities. Unfortunately, the Justice Climate Fund did not receive as much funding as we would have expected given MDIs 151-year track record and $349 billion asset size. However, the JCF network of 1,200 community-based lenders will distribute the GGRF funds to drive as much positive social change as possible in tackling the climate crisis.”


The National Bankers Association is working closely with MDIs to help them build an understanding of green project financing so they can develop products and underwriting tools in preparation for this award. The NBA collaborated with RMI and the HipHop Caucus to create a short guide and host in-person events to help lenders navigate the complexities of climate finance. 





Founded in 1927, the National Bankers Association is the voice for the nation's Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). No other trade association focuses solely on the priorities, federal advocacy, and representation of minority-owned and -operated banks. Members include Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and women-owned and -operated banks. MDIs are located across 32 states and territories. For more information, visit 


The Justice Climate Fund is a nonprofit that provides capital, leverages resources and supports zero-emission technologies in underserved communities across the country. JCF is founded by the Community Builders of Color Coalition to ensure that all communities equitably benefit from the GGRF. See



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