September 18, 2023

The first grants total more than half a million dollars across four states

Monday, Sep 18, 2023


Radiah Shabazz, People’s Center for Climate Innovation, (804) 869-6231;

Alexandra Laney, Institute for Market Transformation, (530) 645-2539;


People’s Climate Innovation Center (Climate Innovation) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) have announced the first grantees through Community Climate Shift. This timely initiative is transforming how communities and governments work together to address climate change and social justice through transformative, community-led policymaking. It aims to address historic injustices to frontline communities by shifting power and nurturing a movement for sustained change. The work is supported by a coalition of community-based organizations and technical partners, philanthropies, and local governments. These awards to community-based organizations complement the recent Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation grant from the Department of Energy to assist local governments with this same approach.  


Community Climate Shift will activate and support a network of partners in communities nationwide, many of which are part of President Biden’s National Building Performance Standards Coalition, to collectively emphasize climate justice and promote community-driven policy making and resources. What makes these projects unique are their focus on frontline communities, and their collaboration between government and community-based organizations. All projects share five critical objectives:

  1. Shape government climate and building decarbonization policies to meet community needs
  2. Create energy efficient, healthy, and safe buildings where people live, work and play
  3. Ensure frontline communities are receiving the economic benefits of green jobs and investments
  4. Improve cost of living through affordable, reliable utility services
  5. Demonstrate just and inclusive policymaking that serves as a model for other communities

Initial grants

Dawn Curtis of Grassroots Impact in Orlando

The first grantees will receive a total of $580,000 to carry out a range of activities supporting local building decarbonization efforts. The first grants will support the following projects:

  • People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights, San Francisco and Emerald Cities Collaborative Bay Area are working to make electrification and building decarbonization equitable and affordable by pairing funds from Community Climate Shift with funds from the City’s Department of Environment to demonstrate equitable retrofit projects that pay fair wages, employ local residents, and reduce energy burden.
  • Central Florida Jobs with Justice and Grassroots Impact are supporting the Orlando Climate Forward campaign to reduce disproportionate energy burden in communities of color.
  • POWER Interfaith in Philadelphia is working on a community-centered campaign that supports scaling deeper community involvement with promising home improvement and decarbonization programs, while advocating for holistic climate policy at the City level.
  • New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance is using Community Climate Shift funds to outline a scalable, replicable process for equitable building decarbonization across the state. This work will go beyond the requirements of the Biden Administration’s Justice 40 Initiative by intentionally incorporating Overburdened Communities into the strategy.

Why focus on buildings

Emissions from the built environment contribute to nearly one-third of national greenhouse gas emissions, additionally energy inefficiency is a major contributor to high energy bills that are disproportionately apportioned to  frontline community members. Most people also spend 90% of their time indoors, making building improvements essential to health, safety, and productivity. Renovating these buildings will improve living and work conditions for occupants and will create valuable local job opportunities related to the clean energy transition.

About Community Climate Shift

The People’s Climate Innovation Center and the Institute for Market Transformation are the founding partners of Community Climate Shift, bringing complementary strengths in community organization and technical building policy knowledge.  Additionally, the Coalition includes partner organizations that have direct experience in frontline communities, as well as those working nationally to address issues like equitable approaches to building electrification, workforce development, affordable housing, and energy efficiency. Learn more about Community Climate Shift at

Program Area(s):

Community Engagement , Policy

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