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45 states are now covered by a climate action plan. These 5 opted out.

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It’s been a year since the EPA began the first phase of a plan to help states, major metropolitan areas, U.S. territories and over 200 tribes and tribal groups develop climate action strategies to address their greenhouse gas emissions — and all but five states have joined in. Called the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Program, it provides more than $250 million in grants, made possible by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, for jurisdictions to develop strategies to reduce their climate pollution. 

These climate action plans also identify new economic opportunities to support clean and green industries, ensure low-income and minorities communities are included in the planning, and support public health benefits gained by reducing various types of environmental pollution.

States and cities participating

While all states were eligible for the program, only 45 took part. Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, South Dakota and Wyoming all declined to participate. 

By skipping the EPA grant program, each passed on a $3 million allocation to develop a statewide strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But that $15 million in combined money the states waived won’t go to waste; large metro areas in those states were still eligible to apply for a grant and claim a portion of their state’s allocation.

Florida has five cities participating that submitted climate action plans, receiving $1 million each:

Iowa has three cities that submitted climate action plans, receiving $1 million each:

Kentucky has three cities that submitted climate action plans, receiving $1 million each:

South Dakota has one city that submitted a climate action plan, receiving $1 million:

Wyoming also has one city that submitted a climate action plan, receiving $1 million:

These climate action plans are designed to “reduce harmful pollution and address environmental justice concerns, while building the infrastructure, industry, and competitive economy for a clean energy future,” according to the EPA. 

All state and city applicants that accepted funding had to submit their Climate Action Plans to the EPA by March 1, while those for tribes and U.S. territories are due April 1. 

More than 96% of the United States will be covered by a plan to reduce climate pollution, according to the EPA. Current state and city plans are now available to the public to view.

“The diversity of ideas and ambitious initiatives from all across the country reflect the seriousness that states and metropolitan areas are bringing to the work of cutting pollution, acting on climate change, and meeting their local objectives,” Jennifer Macedonia, deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said in an EPA news release. “These climate action plans demonstrate substantial progress for states and local governments, in coordination with their communities, to chart their path forward — building healthy communities and competitive local economies where climate solutions can thrive.”

The second phase of the project will be for the EPA to distribute $4.6 billion to participating states and communities to fund greenhouse gas reduction measures, as outlined in their climate action plans. 

By developing comprehensive plans and access to funding, the EPA says it aims to help communities make the transition to a low-carbon economy. President Biden has set a goal of cutting America’s carbon emissions in half by 2030, from 2005 levels.

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