Durbin, Deutch Introduce Legislation to Create Bond Program to Fund Efforts Combating Climate Change

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL-22) today introduced the Climate Change Resiliency Fund for America Act, a bicameral bill that would authorize the U.S. Department of Treasury to issue from $200 million up to $1 billion in state and local tax-exempt “climate bonds” annually for any American to purchase and contribute to the government’s efforts to combat the impacts of climate change. The legislation would set up a system similar to the war bonds effort during World War II, when the government issued securities to pull money from the economy to control inflation and finance critically important government operations.

“I’m introducing this bill because I believe climate change is one of the gravest threats mankind faces, period,” Durbin said. “President Trump and Republicans in Congress still don’t take climate change seriously.  If we want our children to inherit a livable planet, then this bill would guide us in the right direction and should be part of our overall strategy to combat climate change.”

“Congress has an important role to play in addressing climate change. While local communities and states are on the front lines of this crisis, we need a federal response to support their efforts. This fund would give the federal government and everyday Americans a way to invest in climate change mitigation and resiliency projects,” said Deutch.

Bond proceeds from Durbin and Deutch’s bill would fund a new “Climate Change Resiliency Fund,” administered by the Commerce Department, for grants to be used on climate change resiliency projects, such as flood control, structural fortifications, forest fire prevention, desalinization plants, cooling centers, and more. Eligible grant recipients include federal, state, and local governments; utilities; tribes; transit groups; nonprofits; coalitions; or other organizations as determined by the Secretary. Additionally, the bill creates a Climate Change Advisory Commission of 11 bipartisan members appointed by the House, Senate, and President to establish program requirements, and to vet and approve these projects.

More information on the bill is available here.