Climate Corps will create a new workforce for green jobs, in a New Deal-style arrangement set up by President Biden.
On Wednesday, the White House announced the Climate Corps, a new jobs training program. It will employ more than 20,000 young adult in parks and state and federal land, building trails, installing solar power systems, planting trees, and other work to help conserve wild spaces and prevent wildfires.
“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,’’ said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group that has led the push for a climate corps.
More than 50 Democratic lawmakers, including Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have also encouraged Biden to create this program, saying in a letter on Monday that “the climate crisis demands a whole-of-government response at an unprecedented scale.’’
The program was originally proposed as a part of the climate budget plan, but was removed. Instead, President Biden chose to use executive order to establish the Climate Corps.
In their letter, the lawmakers point to the catastrophic wildfires in Maui and California, as well as lethal heatwaves in the Southwest and persistent flooding in New England as examples of rising numbers of climate-related disasters.
A federal climate corps will “prepare a whole generation of workers for good-paying union jobs in the clean economy’’ while helping to “fight climate change, build community resilience and support environmental justice,’’ the lawmakers wrote.
The White House declined to say how much the program will cost or how it will be paid for, but Democrats proposed $10 billion for the climate corps in the original climate bill before the climate corps provision was removed.