President Biden on Wednesday announced an initiative to train more than 20,000 young people in skills crucial to combating climate change, such as installing solar panels, restoring coastal wetlands and retrofitting homes to be more energy-efficient.
The American Climate Corps comes as Biden seeks to win over young voters, a critical constituency, before next year’s presidential election. Polls show that climate change is a top concern for young people, who are more likely than older generations to face raging wildfires, stronger storms and rising seas in their lifetimes.
The initiative resembles a proposal that was included in an early version of Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act. The Civilian Climate Corps was ultimately dropped from the final version of the legislation during private negotiations last summer between Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.).
Anything that sticks it to West Virginia's coal- promoting yachtsman is ok with us.
The administration “will specifically be focused on making sure that folks that are coming through this program have a pathway into good-paying union jobs,” White House National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi said on a Tuesday call with reporters previewing the announcement. “We’re very keenly focused on that.”
Zaidi said the initiative could help train the next generation of electricians. The country faces a dire shortage of electricians, who are needed to install a host of climate-friendly technologies, including heat pumps, efficient air conditioners and electric car chargers.
Anyone interested can go to this site to sign up for information on joining the Corps.