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American Climate Corps Program: Good or Bad Idea?

In this article, we’ll talk about what the American Climate Corps Program is, how it will work, and the pros and cons of this new program developed under the Biden administration.
Ecology News
2023-10-04T00:00:00.000Z
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As the second largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, the U.S. and the Biden administration have been working hard to implement new measures to fight against climate change and address the crisis once and for all – such as with the American Climate Corps Program.

One of the many political issues often talked about during presidential debates in the U.S. is the ability for an incumbent or future president to create new jobs for the economy, but this can prove stressful when there are many other imperative tasks that need to be addressed in the country.

However, one solution to this predicament could be the American Climate Corps Program – which will work to create new jobs and while simultaneously supporting the production of clean energy. 

In this article, we’ll talk about what the American Climate Corps Program is, how it will work, and the pros and cons of this new program developed under the Biden administration.

What is the American Climate Corps Program?

Announced by the Biden-Harris administration in late 2023, the American Climate Corps Program is the newest effort to expand the current job market for a clean energy economy. This new program will work by offering training to young Americans for jobs such as land and water conservation, implementing energy efficient appliances, and any other field of work that helps to fight against climate change.

Essentially, the American Climate Corps Program will work to kill two birds with one stone – as it will help the U.S. to fight against the negative effects of climate change while also creating over 20,000 new jobs.
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Young Americans will be selected across the country to participate in the American Climate Corps Program, where they will then be given special training in order to gain access to these new jobs. 

Here is an extensive list of some of the work these newly mobilized Americans will be able to do as a part of the American Climate Corps Program:

👉 The main goal of the American Climate Corps Program is to re-prioritize the safety and value of vulnerable communities by utilizing the wide-array of specialized skills in younger generations of Americans entering the workforce.

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How will the American Climate Corps Program work?

The new American Climate Corps Program will work to address climate change and the economic crisis by training young people on climate resiliency and educating them about conservation and clean energy mechanisms.

Ultimately, the goal of this training on behalf of the American Climate Corps Program is to create more qualified employees and expand the job market while also addressing the climate change crisis.

Here are the specific tactics to be used for the American Climate Corps Program’s success:

  • Offer Training – Young Americans willing to partake in these training programs will gain access to new work opportunities and ultimately, viable career paths in both public and private sectors. 
  • Recruitment Process – People interested in the American Climate Corps Program will be able to apply via the official website.
  • Collaboration with Federal Agencies – A program as varied as the American Climate Corps will take a village to operate at full capacity, but the Biden administration has got this covered by enlisting the help of various federal agencies such as the the Department of the Interior, the Department of Labor, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and even AmeriCorps.
  • Incentivizing Awards Through AmeriCorps – Biden is determined to influence AmeriCorps to expand their own opportunities to Americans that choose to participate in American Climate Corps. As a result, young Americans would be able to use their Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to offset their existing student debt. 

👉 In a sense, the American Climate Corps Program will function in a similar manner to Biden’s infamous $369 billion dollar climate bill – where Americans are incentivized to choose renewable energy or energy efficient products for a tax break in return. The same will be done with the American Climate Corps Program, as it will entice young Americans looking for work – especially those unemployed with lingering student debt they are currently unable to pay.

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What are the benefits of the American Climate Corps Program?

The budding benefits of the American Climate Corps could eventually evolve to become indispensable for the country – especially as Republicans and Democrats often argue whether to prioritize the economy or the environment. Ultimately, the American Climate Corp presents an opportunity to potentially satisfy both parties.

However, one of the overarching benefits of the American Climate Corps is that it could both interest and help Gen Z during a difficult time – as up to 15% of people aged 18 to 24 in the United States remain unemployed. 

👉 Instead of suffering through unemployment or taking up a temp job, young Americans could opt to partake in this training and end up employed in these highly-skilled professions, many of which will inevitably remain in demand as we head towards the future and transition to a more sustainable economy.

Therefore, this new program could prove popular amongst Gen Z – seeing as no prior experience will be required to participate in the program and could serve as a viable job opportunity for the millions of young Americans who remain unemployed after college.

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The best thing about the American Climate Corps Program is that it will help both the job market and mitigate the effects of climate change at the same time.

👉 Another benefit of the program is that it will incentivize labor unions, nonprofit organizations, private sectors, philanthropic organizations, and even local and state governments to work together with the White House to cultivate new partnerships and address the climate crisis. 

In fact, ten states have committed to launching their own climate corps programs and have already demonstrated their commitment to creating well-paying, clean energy economy friendly jobs – including California, Colorado, Michigan, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Arizona.

As a result, the new American Climate Corps Program will be able to encourage greater collaboration and provide more opportunities for these individual state climate corps programs.

👉 In addition to all of this, the American Climate Corps will help the Biden Administration advance towards their Administration’s Justice40 goal – which will help to redirect financial flows to vulnerable communities impacted by climate change.

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What are the potential setbacks of the American Climate Corps Program?

In a perfect world, the American Climate Corps Program would work without any setbacks, but especially seeing as we are quickly approaching an election year in the U.S. – a climate program such as this one could be prone to criticism, and ultimately impact its overall effectiveness.

For starters, much of the American Climate Corps Program will rely on the willingness of young Americans to partake in the training required to qualify for a job under the program. While Gen Z is more concerned with climate change than older generations are, it will still require time and effort – something not everyone will be willing to do.

Ultimately, if there aren’t enough young Americans willing to learn or comply with the requirements of the American Climate Corps Program – it is bound to fail.
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👉 The new American Climate Corps Program is a lot of show, but not enough tell on how it will effectively help the United States out of the climate crisis – as it doesn’t provide details on the positive environmental impact these jobs are meant to create.

Lastly, some people may be reluctant to switch to a job as part of a clean energy economy, more specifically – many Republicans will be against this notion. In addition to this, seeing as the 2024 presidential election is coming up, it may give more voters more reason to vote Biden out of office out of dissatisfaction with his climate policy.

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Is the American Climate Corps Program worth keeping?

The statistics speak for themselves: with the U.S. emitting millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions on an annual basis in combination with frightening, high rates of unemployment – the U.S. is in dire need of a program like the American Climate Corps.

However, it’s too soon to say whether the program is worth keeping – as the program still has yet to specify how it will pull the country out of its dual economic and environmental crisis. 

👉 Ultimately, the American Climate Corps Program is a good initiative and is worth a try, but in order for the program to prove itself effective and worth government funding – it will likely need to detail how it will help the U.S. reduce emissions or combat climate change with numerical data.

Think about the American Climate Corps Program like a package that doesn’t have a tracking number – you know it's on its way, but you don’t know exactly how it's going to end up at your doorstep. You have no way to follow its progress. The current plan for the American Climate Corps is a lot like this, as it details how young Americans will be trained to fulfill the requirements for climate-centered jobs – but not how these jobs will specifically address the effects of climate change in the long-run.

At the end of the day, knowing a delivery package is on its way is better than not having it delivered at all – and the same goes for moving forward with the current plans depicted in the American Climate Corps Program. 

However, as of right now, it’s safe to say that there is no satisfaction guarantee with the American Climate Corps Program – but it is evident that it’s a risk the Biden-Harris administration is willing to take as we approach re-election season.

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about why the American Climate Corps Program has pros and cons has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

It can be difficult to know which programs will best benefit your company, such as the American Climate Corps Program, but don’t worry – Greenly is here to help! Click here to book a demo and get personalized expertise on which environmental certifications and programs are right for your company.

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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