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Oct 13, 2023

National Bankers Association in First-Ever Coalition Applying for EPA Grants to Address Climate Crisis

(Washington, DC/October 13, 2023)— The National Bankers Association (NBA) and the National Bankers Association Foundation (a.k.a. the National Bankers Community Alliance) are announcing our participation in the Justice Climate Fund (JCF) application to ensure that communities of color and those most impacted by climate change benefit from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) and Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA) competitive grant programs.  


Under the NCIF program, the EPA will award up to $14 billion to support initiatives like the one proposed by JCF to reduce pollution by increasing investment in smaller scale renewable energy, clean transportation, and energy smart buildings while creating jobs and growing local businesses, particularly in low income and disadvantaged communities. JCF also applied to the CCIA program, which will award up to $6 billion to hub nonprofits to deploy seed capital to strengthen the capacity of nonprofit lenders to manage environmental projects. 


“The National Bankers Association believes that JCF’s community-first and equity-focused mission will ensure communities of color are centered in the fight for environmental justice while allowing community lenders to meet the demand for high-impact climate projects with low-cost capital and credit enhancements,” said Nicole Elam, President/CEO, National Bankers Association and Executive Director, National Bankers Association Foundation. 


The JCF coalition brings decades of collective experience and billions of dollars in delivering a wide range of improved outcomes for communities of color in low-income regions across the country–from affordable housing, improved health and cleaner transportation to lower energy costs and economic growth. 


“There’s no trade-off between reducing emissions and lifting up communities,” said Douglass Sims, JCF interim Chief Executive Officer. “The JCF brings together the whole ecosystem of players necessary to deploy capital into clean energy, clean transportation, clean buildings, and beyond. Our coalition touches the entire country from rural, suburban, and urban areas. We can bring solutions to communities from as small as replacing a gas boiler with a heat pump in a single-family home to building new multifamily affordable housing or large-scale community solar panel systems. With EPA funding, we will bring good-paying jobs, investment and climate resilience to every community.” 


Elam also states, “Our annual State of MDI Report shows that minority banks serve communities that have higher climate risk exposure across flood, fire, heat, and wind. Therefore, we are excited about how we will be able to advance the support for our communities by working alongside JCF and other partners on this effort.” 


JCF is founded by the Community Builders of Color Coalition and led by a Board that includes the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, National Bankers Association, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, Inclusiv, Oweesta Corporation, Opportunity Finance Network, Partners for the Common Good, ImpactAssets, Housing Partnership Network, and the Connecticut Green Bank


See the latest NBA expert research on minority depository institutions and their communities and join us at our Annual Conference to learn more about the future of climate finance. 

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