The American Climate Corps will employ more than 20,000 young adults to help promote conservation and help prevent catastrophic wildfires. They will also assist with installing solar panels, planting trees, and building trails, according to AP.
The White House made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday which reads: "President Biden is announcing a new initiative to train young people in high-demand skills for jobs in the clean energy economy. The American Climate Corps will put a new generation of Americans to work conserving our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, advancing environmental justice, deploying clean energy, implementing energy efficient technologies, and tackling climate change."
"American Climate Corps members will gain the skills necessary to access good-paying jobs that are aligned with high-quality employment opportunities after they complete their paid training or service program," the White House said.
The executive order comes after Congressional Republicans thwarted Biden's and the Democrats' trillion-dollar "Green New Deal" climate change legislation due to concerns about the high cost at the expense of taxpayers and the Bill mirroring Socialism. According to AP, the climate corps was featured as a component in the original $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Bill but was axed from its final version.
Since the component failed, climate change activist groups have been pressuring President Biden to create a climate corps through an executive order, and Biden granted their wishes.
Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group, told AP: "After years of demonstrating and fighting for a Climate Corps, we turned a generational rallying cry into a real jobs program that will put a new generation to work stopping the climate crisis."
Prakash said that the creation of the American Climate Corps makes the dream of a "Green New Deal" in the United States "visible" with the addition of "the historic climate investments won by our broader movement."
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, president of NextGen America, praised the executive order and told the outlet: "Young people nationwide are excited to see the launch of the American Climate Corps, enhancing career pathways in clean energy, conservation and climate resilience."
"Young people are fighting for climate justice every day in their community, and now they have even more opportunity to continue this fight in their careers,'' Ramirez said.
On Monday, more than 50 congressional Democrats sent a letter to President Biden urging him to form a climate corps, writing that "the climate crisis demands a whole-of-government response at an unprecedented scale."
Following the White House's announcement, congressional Democrats held a press conference outside of the US Capitol to praise President Biden for taking "historic" steps in pushing America one step closer to achieving the Democrats' Green New Deal.
"Today President Biden listened to the (environmental) movement, and he delivered with an American Climate Corps," Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said, according to the outlet.
House Rep. AOC (D-NY) added, "We are starting to turn the green dream into a green reality."
"You all are changing the world," she said.
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