Building climate resilience is not only critical to maintaining a habitable planet but is also an issue of national and international security and prosperity. The IIJA recognizes the urgency of the climate crisis by including $191 billion towards energy, environment, and climate programs across four major categories: water infrastructure ($55 billion), power infrastructure ($65 billion), resilience ($50 billion), and environmental remediation ($21 billion).
Programs across these buckets will invest in clean transportation infrastructure by funding public transportation, vehicle electrification efforts through station construction and distribution of electric buses to school districts across the country. Other energy and environment programs will invest in water management and conservation, such as flood mitigation efforts and expanding critical access to clean drinking water. Still others will work towards building climate resiliency and addressing legacy pollution by weatherizing infrastructure and homes and cleaning up abandoned mines and oil wells.
For metro Atlanta, there are countless opportunities for investment. IIJA programs can continue the ongoing regional work towards improved air quality, water conservation, and clean energy. Some of the most salient programs relevant to the Atlanta region include:
- Electric Vehicle Infrastructure programs, which allocate $7.5 billion in federal dollars to build out a national network of EV chargers
- REPLANT Program expansion through IIJA funding for reforestation and ecosystem preservation