IEN has been actively working with its partner organizations, network members, and higher education leaders this month to advocate for congressional support for higher education institutions and to use this opportunity to focus investments on low carbon and clean energy especially in underserved rural and urban communities.
We are pleased to share this letter from IEN and our partners' organizations to our respective networks regarding a latter we sent to Congress last month, as the Coronavirus outbreak was accelerating around the world, and the US was developing its first relief package.
We joined several leading higher education sustainability organizations in sending a letter to members of Congress, calling on them to design a package that supported the higher education sector and supported a just transition to a low-carbon, clean equitable economy.
We asked that they consider the following principles:
1. Develop a stimulus package to address the needs of colleges and universities along with their critical research and small business components.
2. Do not add additional subsidies to polluting energy sources in the U.S. and instead transition our energy investments into clean and resilient energy solutions including retooling and retraining programs to support a 21st-century clean energy workforce.
3. Focus low carbon and clean energy investments on underserved rural and urban communities and small businesses - these communities are being hit the hardest by the associated economic crisis and need the most assistance.
4. Focus on research, demonstration, education, training, and deployment of zero-carbon energy and other low-carbon technologies and practices.
5. Tie the significant bailouts of industries to requirements to become more energy-efficient, reduce carbon pollution, and adopt clean technology solutions.
6. Ensure that money that you do inject into the economy supports an education and knowledge infrastructure targeted towards the education and training of a workforce skilled to embrace low-carbon technologies.
Please be in touch if you have any questions or ideas for other ways we can help support the efforts of the network at this time.