- Chicago is launching a grant program that funds climate initiatives by local small businesses and nonprofits, the city announced Tuesday.
- The $5 million Climate Infrastructure Fund will help small businesses and nonprofits pay for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements in buildings, purchase electric vehicles and install EV charging stations, and enable green infrastructure solutions that capture stormwater and reduces onsite flooding, the city stated in a press release.
- The fund is intended to help the city meet targets in its 2022 Climate Action Plan, which calls for a 62% reduction in carbon emissions by 2040. The city also dedicated $188 million last year to pay for “equity-focused climate and environmental programs.”
The federal government, states and cities are implementing policies and regulations aimed at lowering carbon emissions from transportation and buildings. They’re also focused on becoming more resilient to the impacts of extreme weather that has grown more frequent and intense amid climate change.
Chicago’s actions this past year to reduce emissions citywide included the release of the new climate plan, recommendations for equitable building decarbonization, and a building energy code update.
“The Climate Infrastructure Fund is further strengthening this foundation by supporting organizations and small businesses as they take on leadership roles as participants and beneficiaries in the green economy,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.
The city will score fund applications based on “climate mitigation and resilience factors, equity impact, and project readiness,” the press release stated. Project proposals need to be submitted by Feb. 24.