We hear about climate change impacts on communities and cities almost on a daily basis. From increased events of flooding, wildfires, and extreme temperatures, to lack of water resources and melting ice caps and glaciers, the effects on various regions across the globe are undeniable. According to an Intragovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR6 Synthesis Report) the choices and actions implemented in this decade will have impacts now and for thousands of years.
I recently participated in the impactful ‘Acts to Action’ Climate Leadership Program by Climate Reality Project, with a special focus on leveraging the recent climate laws passed in the United States. These laws are designed to accelerate the fight against climate change and to provide opportunities for building sustainable infrastructure and systems at scale across all industries and sectors.
Remarkably, many people and organizations are not aware of these powerful climate laws and the funding associated with them, or they don’t know how to get started on securing these funds for driving their sustainability goals. These investments represent an unprecedented opportunity for public and private sector organizations to leverage the power of technology to transform their operations, reduce their emissions, and contribute to the global effort for more sustainable development. The following is a highlight of what is available today.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021, has allocated $1.2 trillion for rebuilding America’s transportation, water, and systems infrastructure, as well as updating the electrical grid and building national electric vehicle (EV) network chargers. It also includes making the largest investment in domestic manufacturing of batteries and the critical minerals that power them. To date, over $220 billion has been announced and is headed to states, Tribes, territories and local governments.
The $52.7 billion US CHIPS and Science Act, a law passed in 2022, includes climate-related investment that will support energy research and the commercialization of various technologies. It will fund areas including new battery chemistry and more efficient solar panels as described by Reuters.
The Inflation Reduction Act is the most recent US climate law passed in 2022 that includes $370 billion to modernize the electric grid, build a nationwide network of electric vehicle chargers, strengthen the battery supply chain, invest in new clean energy and emissions reduction technologies, improve resilience in physical and natural systems, and clean up legacy pollution in communities across the United States. This is the single largest investment in climate and energy in American history. The majority of this energy and climate funding is in the form of tax credits. Corporations are the biggest recipient, with an estimated $216 billion worth of tax credits. These are designed to catalyze private investment in clean energy, transport, and manufacturing per McKinsey.
US government spending on climate technology and clean energy can more than triple in the next 10 years under these three recently introduced laws per World Economic Forum. These US funding packages will be instrumental in driving sustainability solutions and technologies at scale, and supporting the massive energy transition that is underway.
Having been at the forefront of sustainability, the European Commission has recently invested €13.5 billion in the research and innovation program Horizon Europe, as part of European Union’s (EU) broader €95.5 billion program. This funding program will contribute to the EU reaching its climate goals, increasing energy resilience, and developing core digital technologies. Also in September of 2022, Australia adopted a historic new law that would reduce its emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030.
With these targeted climate funds available now, it is imperative to start implementing your sustainability strategies no matter where you are in your journey. As a company that has a goal of reaching net zero across our value chain by 2040, we have been working proactively with many customers in all sectors to capture public climate funds. Through Cisco’s Public Funding Office, we are able to work with customers to position for clean energy funding and help roll out a robust strategy for accelerating their sustainability efforts.
Cisco also offers state-of-the-art industry solutions for the sustainability use cases that in many cases can be funded by the public climate funds. Those include EV charging infrastructure, distributed energy resources, distribution automation, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system modernization, smart buildings and facilities, and more. Furthermore, our strategic alliances with industry partners enable us to be ‘better together’ and offer integrated solutions for our customers that can support their progress towards sustainability goals. A notable example is our partnership with Schneider Electric. Through this key alliance, we are developing innovative next generation smart buildings technologies and EV charging infrastructure, which can often be implemented by our customers leveraging climate funds.
Public climate funding sources are an effective vehicle to enable the massive transition to a low carbon economy. Organizations that position themselves for these funds will not only support their own sustainability journey and create business value, but also help accelerate decarbonization of the globe at scale. Cisco has a purpose to Power an Inclusive Future for All. We can assist you with capturing these important funds and help develop innovative climate solutions together.
For help building a strategy for public climate funding, please reach out to the Global Funding Capture Team.