We’re leading an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

Join our work today to help us build a thriving and just clean energy future. 


We’re leading an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

Join our work today to help us build a thriving and just clean energy future. 

The IRA Turned One. What’s Happened Since and What’s Next?

Alongside our partners, we’ve been working hard to equitably and effectively implement the IRA across states, Tribes, and territories. And we’re just getting started.

One year ago today, President Biden and Congress ushered in a new era of U.S. climate progress with the passage and signing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Evergreen Action was integrally involved with the design and passage of the IRA, and is now working with a broad coalition to implement this historic bill. 

The IRA makes nearly $400 billion available over the next nine years for new clean energy projects, programs to reduce emissions, and dedicated efforts to combat historic harms for pollution-burdened communities. 

We have already seen businesses take advantage of these tax credits, creating 170,606 and counting jobs and reinvigorating American manufacturing. These funds are being deployed at the same time as historic rules and laws are enacted at the federal, state, and local levels. Strategically combining investments with standards can position the country to be a global leader in clean energy, and clean technology. Moreover, by ensuring that both funds and laws target and repair painful disparities by race and class in prosperity, pollution exposure, and climate risk, policymakers can ensure we have not just clean technology but a stronger polity.

Evergreen and our partners are hard at work ensuring the equitable and successful implementation of the IRA across states, Tribes, and territories, as this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shift the status quo. 

Here’s how we have been encouraging robust, equity-centered investments through the IRA. 


1. Justice40 

To be durable and effective, climate action must reckon with, and repair, America’s ongoing racist and classist patterns of development. From pollution sources in communities of color to structural disinvestment in rural landscapes, regional disparities across the country have made our politics more polarized and weakened faith in democratic action. From the start, Evergreen and our partners have called for channeling investments in ways that could begin to repair these failures, building a base for climate policy that directly benefits those who are most underserved—and creating political constituencies that can support further steps forward.

We understood early on that making progress towards environmental equity and justice would require a coordinated, national strategy that considered clean energy investments and pollution reduction. California and New York provided examples of what equitable climate change and investment policy could look like, and Evergreen advocated for the Biden campaign and then the Biden administration to adopt those policies.  

The Justice40 Initiative is a key first step, directing federal agencies with climate change and clean energy funding to provide 40 percent of those program benefits to disadvantaged communities. While the Justice40 Initiative was officially launched in January 2021, we worked hard to ensure that Justice40 would be applied to the IRA, as well, and that it included new investments in underserved communities. 

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Team Leader Meme Edwards shakes President Biden’s hand after a demonstration at an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Michigan.


There is more to do to implement a more equitable, community-centered approach to environmental policy. We’ve worked to ensure that agencies with Justice40-covered programs are crafting programs in an inclusive way, and have worked with partners to advocate to the administration to make sure that grants, loans, formula funds and tax credits are accessible to the communities who need the investments the most. We’re continuing to spread the word about funding opportunities to underserved communities, and to track these programs to see how they can be made more accessible. 

As tax credits begin to be claimed by private businesses and governments, we will continue to advocate for public ownership and accountability for energy resources. Rather than perpetuating the cycle of privatization and oligarchy that is too often the story of the energy sector, we will push forward with our vision of reliable and clean energy systems that are democratized and accountable to communities. 


2. Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

Evergreen has long called for a federal green bank to support the transition to a clean energy economy. Way back in 2009, then-Congressman and now-Governor Jay Inslee introduced a bill that would have initiated a green bank to fund clean energy projects and retire fossil fuel assets. And even though it didn’t take off back then, we’ve always known a federal green bank would be pivotal to combating the climate crisis. 

Our advocacy, along with the voices of many others, was ultimately successful. The IRA’s biggest grant program—the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF)—provides $27 billion to finance and catalyze clean energy projects.

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WeSolar Founder & CEO Kristal Hansley shakes Vice President Harris’ hand after briefing her on community climate action in Maryland.


Since the IRA passed, we’ve been working to ensure that these dollars will be truly catalytic, involving large- and small-scale lenders, including states, municipalities, and Tribal governments, and providing benefits to marginalized communities. Through requests for information and direct outreach to the Environmental Protection Agency, we advocated for a focus on large-scale, sectoral transformation—and the agency listened.

Alongside our partners, we have also insisted that disadvantaged communities must benefit from this massive opportunity. To us, that meant that marginalized communities would be involved in the projects being developed, and that clean energy assets and other project benefits end up in their communities. Through the advocacy of Evergreen and allied organizations, GGRF became one of the only IRA programs to promise benefits beyond the Justice40 goal—allocating 55 percent of program benefits to disadvantaged communities. 

As funds from all the GGRF programs flow to communities, we will continue to support states, Tribal organizations, disadvantaged communities, and businesses to ensure that this money not only builds out clean energy projects, but catalyzes future decarbonization.


3. Climate Pollution Reduction Grants

One of the most important yet frequently overlooked programs in the IRA is the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program, designed to empower state, local and Tribal leadership on climate action. 

Much more state and local climate action is needed if we are going to reach our climate goals of a 50-52 percent reduction in greenhouse gas pollution by 2030, and net-zero climate pollution by mid-century. 

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Congresswoman Susan Wild gives EPA Administrator Michael Regan a tour of a soon-to-be reclaimed brownfield site in Pennsylvania.


New investments in the IRA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), and the CHIPS and Science Act can make it easier for states, local governments, and Tribes to go further on climate. The CPRG program is an important “force multiplier” here—designed to empower subnational governments with more capacity and incentive to seize these opportunities and leverage greater public and private sector investments in climate solutions. In short, the CPRG program can inspire the next generation of state and local climate leadership. 

Evergreen helped envision this program and secure its inclusion in the IRA with movement partners. Since the IRA’s passage, Evergreen has played a critical role in informing the EPA’s design of the program, and will continue working to support states on their implementation of this transformative opportunity. 


4. Clean energy tax credits tied to high-road labor standards

Clean energy tax credits, with incentives for high-road labor standards and investments in underserved communities, are among the IRA’s highest-impact programs. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC) quintuple in value for companies that pay a prevailing wage and set aside 15 percent of construction labor hours for apprentices. They likewise increase in value when projects are built in low-income communities and energy communities. All told, the IRA’s new and extended tax credits could invest up to $570 billion in clean energy projects. 

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Local solar workers from the Chicago Urban League listen as EPA Administrator Michael Regan delivers remarks.


Evergreen and our partners advocated for the extension of the ITC and PTC with those incentives attached, as we have long called for the extension of clean energy tax incentives and the inclusion of policies to support family-sustaining union jobs, apprenticeships, and prevailing wages. 

Evergreen will continue to work with movement partners and union allies to advocate for quality union jobs in the clean energy sector through IRA implementation, state action, and legislation.


The Path Forward

Over the next year, the first billions in IRA funds will begin to physically rebuild communities and industries across the country. At the same time, the Biden administration will finalize what needs to be some of the most stringent carbon pollution controls in the country’s history, while leading states and cities continue to show the way forward with innovative policies. All of these efforts should center egalitarian, democracy-reinforcing community repair, guided by communities themselves.

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Evergreen’s Deputy Campaigns Director Dani Hupper, Outreach Coordinator Hannah Reid, and Executive Director Lena Moffitt with Administrator Michael Regan at the announcement of EPA’s carbon standards for power plants in Maryland.

In 2024, as the country goes to the polls, we know that climate action hangs in the balance and that, as the climate crisis worsens, there is no time to lose. Climate progress will accelerate if people all across the country understand that the IRA is not just about technologies, and tons of pollution reduced, but about making life better, more fair, and more rich with opportunity. In the second year of the IRA’s life, we will continue to ensure that even as emissions begin to fall, the benefits of action are clear and compelling, and justly distributed, in ways that knit together the climate movement and build support for a better future.

Such a virtuous cycle is possible. Strong standards, paired with deep investments, justly made, will build demand for the accelerating economic and political transformation we need to stabilize the climate and support a better society. We look forward to the journey ahead.