A program to boost environmental initiatives, including green energy, and climate resiliency is being created in North Carolina.
Funding has been secured by the N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, or VolunteerNC, to create the North Carolina Climate Action Corps, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday.
The program, a nearly $1 million investment, will begin this fall.
The Governor’s Climate Action Corps, created under the Climate Action Corps National Expansion Pilot through California Volunteers, will aid 25 Climate Corps members throughout the state to serve with existing NC AmeriCorps programs.
AmeriCorps is a federal agency that connects people through national service and volunteering to take on the nation’s most pressing challenges.
Climate Action Corps AmeriCorps members will tackle climate issues throughout the state including heat island effects, managing hazardous fuels, wildfire mitigation and flood risk.
Those climate-related issues will be addressed by planting trees to provide shade and educating communities about the benefits of trees in carbon absorption and air quality, reintroducing prescribed fire to protect against wildfires, and building and restoring living shorelines, managing riparian buffers and implementing land management practices to help protect communities at risk of flooding.
“In North Carolina, we have prioritized the transition to clean energy and this expansion will bolster our efforts,” Cooper said in a release. “This project will strengthen our clean energy workforce as we continue to lead the way toward a clean energy future.”
Gov. Cooper has in recent years signed three executive orders – Executive Order No. 246, Executive Order No. 271 and Executive Order No. 218 – that support clean energy economy initiatives like offshore wind development and a move to zero-emission electric vehicles.