Press Release | January 30, 2024

FEMA announces action to help states recover from disaster while reducing climate risks 

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a new policy that empowers states and localities to rebuild after disasters using energy efficient and clean energy technologies. This update to FEMA’s Public Assistance program will change the way that schools, hospitals, fire stations, and other community infrastructure investments are rebuilt after a disaster. FEMA will provide funding to enable states and localities to include clean technologies like solar panels, batteries, and energy-efficient appliances and heat pumps when rebuilding public buildings and infrastructure damaged by disasters. 

These technologies can lower emissions but also provide energy independence in the event of a disaster, which is especially important for the community gathering spaces and Resilience Hubs that serve provide critical services and safety for residents before, during, and after a disaster. 

In response Southern Enviromental Law Center’s Climate Initiative Leader Alys Campaigne released the following statement:    

“FEMA is making a powerful move to ensure the transition to clean energy touches our communities in a way that makes them stronger and more resilient. Climate change is causing severe storms, floods, and heat extremes across the South. This announcement connects the dots by making sure that we rebuild in ways that reduce climate pollution and harness clean, reliable power to keep communities safe and reduce future risks.” 

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