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Financing resilient communities and coastlines: How environmental impact bonds can accelerate wetland restoration in Louisiana and beyond

August 20, 2018

The Environmental Defense Fund and Quantified Ventures have assessed how an environmental impact bond (EIB) could effectively be used for coastal resilience financing for wetland restoration in Louisiana and other coastal areas. The report outlines the steps Louisiana would take to pilot and implement the EIB to restore the coast and wetlands, while greatly reducing land loss to sea level rise, and incentivizing investment. The framework could also support financing other natural infrastructure projects that build coastal resiliency, and serves as a template for coastal investments anywhere.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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My Strong Home - Home Risk Mitigation Loans

2017

MyStrongHome is a public-benefit corporation which aims to help homes and communities in coastal areas in South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to be better protected from extreme weather by financing and managing home upgrades, especially new storm-ready roofs, to meet resilient building standards. By providing an “end-to-end” solution, from assessment and financing through construction and insurance, MyStrongHome makes home risk mitigation, and climate change resilience, more accessible to homeowners.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Connecticut Green Bank Solar For All Program

2015

In 2015, Connecticut recognized that its standard solar incentive program for homeowners, the Residential Solar Incentive Program (RSIP), had successfully promoted residential solar development, but was serving very few low-income homeowners. To increase low and middle income (LMI) homeowner access to credit for solar, the Connecticut Green Bank (which was established by the Connecticut General Assembly), developed a model for providing these homeowners with cost-effective residential solar power and energy efficiency, and applied it to a partnership with solar provider PosiGen Solar (PosiGen). The Green Bank's Solar For All program provides financial support to PosiGen, which uses this financing to build solar panels on LMI homes. PosiGen retains ownership of the panels, benefits from the solar rebates provided under the RSIP, and leases the solar panels to homeowners. Homeowners benefit financially by avoiding large upfront payments for their solar systems, and by reducing electricity costs. Additionally, all PosiGen customers receive efficiency upgrades. The average PosiGen customer in Connecticut receives a net annual financial benefit of $450. For the first six years of solar panel operation, PosiGen owns and benefits from the Renewable Energy Credits – the excess power created by the panels. Ownership of these credits is then transferred to the Bank, which makes back some of the money it spends on the RSIP. 

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Climate Ready Boston: Municipal Vulnerability to Climate Change (2013)

October 29, 2013

Boston, Massachusetts' Mayor Thomas M. Menino administration’s report 'Climate Ready Boston: Municipal Vulnerability to Climate Change' identifies ways in which the City has and will prepare for the impacts of climate change on municipal operations. The report presents the assessments and key findings of Boston's Climate Preparedness Task Force. Short- and long-term vulnerabilities were examined for the City's sectors: Facilities and Capital Planning, Transportation and Water Infrastructure, Neighborhoods, and Public Health and Heat.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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New Jersey Clean Energy Program Efficiency Retrofitting

2010

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) is a financial incentive system created by the state legislature to encourage energy efficiency retrofitting and promote the use of renewable energy. CMC Energy is a private firm specializing in improving energy efficiency, and became a contracting partner of NJCEP’s Direct Install program. Through this program, CMC works directly with a participating business or public entity to assess areas for improved energy efficiency, and implement modern technical solutions to reduce energy costs. NJCEP pays for 70% of the total retrofitting costs directly to the entity, reducing the total project time to an average of 90 days from the initial appointment. High Bridge Elementary School, in High Bridge, NJ, participated in the Direct Install program and is realizing an annual energy savings of approximately $22,000. The total cost of the installation was $135,109, of which $94,576 was provided directly to the school. The school thus contributed only $40,532, estimated to be paid off in 1.8 years given the school’s energy savings. Future energy savings will be used for further improvements, such as a new roof. In 2019, to promote equity, NJCEP increased its funding to 80% of the retrofitting costs for facilities: within an Urban Enterprise Zone, within an Opportunity Zone, owned by local governments, containing K-12 public schools, or designated as affordable housing. Under the newer scheme, the High Bridge Elementary pay period would be shortened to 1.23 years, freeing up reduced energy savings faster.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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New York State (NYSERDA) Clean Energy Workforce Development Program

New York State’s Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) developed the Clean Energy Workforce Development Program, committing more than $100 million through 2025 to converting the State’s workforce to a cleaner, more resilient future. Working with partners across the State - including small businesses, local governments, frontline community leaders, and more - NYSERDA is focusing on funding five programs in the clean energy sector, including: (1) training in energy efficiency and clean technology; (2) on the job/site training; (3) providing internships to young adults; (4) offering training on building operations and maintenance; and (5) funding contractors that provide clean energy training.

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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New Mexico SB 489 - Energy Transition Act

March 22, 2019

New Mexico’s 2019 Senate Bill 489 enacts the Energy Transition Act, establishing ambitious statewide renewable energy standards and a pathway the state will use to transition its economy towards one powered by clean energy. The bill includes tens of millions of dollars of economic and workforce support for communities affected by the transition away from coal. By incorporating equity considerations into its framework, this bill not only ensures greater renewable energy production, but also eases the burden of energy transition on frontline and disadvantaged communities.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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The Definitive Guide to Disaster Planning

2019

This emergency preparedness guide is for business owners of large or small operations to create and implement a business continuity plan. A business continuity plan should establish a comprehensive disaster plan that ensures that the business can survive a variety of interruptions, recover from a weather event, reduce liability concerns, protect revenue sources, build a culture of preparedness, and more. The guide presents a 12-step process that business owners should undertake if they want their business to survive a disaster, including extreme weather events induced by climate change.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Oregon Health Authority Climate Health Impact Assessments

2014

Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Oregon’s state public health agency, conducted three climate-focused Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) between 2011 and 2014 in order to determine the potential health benefits of greenhouse gas reduction projects. Requested by Metro Regional Government (Metro), Portland’s regional planning authority for transportation and land use, OHA’s HIA found that adopting the climate strategies proposed by Metro could reduce heart disease, stroke, and diabetes 2-4% by improving air quality and increasing active transportation. The HIAs also focused on the inequities of disease burden based on proximity to high volume roads, leading to increased injuries and respiratory disease, among other impacts; increasing active transportation and reducing the number of vehicles on the road could help to reduce this inequity. From the HIAs, OHA determined that implementing these strategies could also save over $100 million annually in health care costs. The 39-member Advisory Committee that helped shape and give feedback to the HIA included some community representatives and a representative from the Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, but was primarily made up of local and regional government representatives. 

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Missouri Comprehensive State Energy Plan

October 2015

In October 2015, officials within the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Division of Energy released the Comprehensive State Energy Plan, which outlined recommendations that would help the state transition to cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable energy. As a result of numerous public meetings and significant stakeholder participation, the agencies were able to divide their recommendations into five categories that would help Missouri achieve its energy goals: promoting efficiency of use; ensuring affordability; diversifying and promoting security in supply; undertaking regulatory improvements; and stimulating innovation, emerging technologies, and job creation. Compliance with these statewide recommendations will help to create new jobs, expand the economy, facilitate more efficient use of energy in all sectors, and help households more effectively manage their energy budgets – all in a more equitable manner. The Plan is a living document that serves as a resource for all elected officials, communities, businesses, and even individuals. In local, frontline communities especially, it is intended to serve as the basis for developing community-specific plans that not only emphasize its energy resources, but the priorities of the area. 

Resource Category: Planning

 

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