AmeriCorps CEO: It’s time for Concerted Action to Tackle Climate Change
Michael D. Smith urges all Americans to fight for the environment on Earth Day
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, released the following statement from its CEO, Michael D. Smith, in honor of Earth Day:
“Today, we mark the 52nd Earth Day which celebrates a vision of a healthier, more prosperous nation where all people can thrive. Now is the time to improve parks and public lands, increase energy efficiency, strengthen rural and urban economies, expand opportunity for young people and veterans and create the next generation of conservation and climate resilience leaders.
“Tackling the existential threat of climate change requires a whole of government approach. On day one of his administration, President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement, restoring US leadership on the world stage. Over the past year, the administration has taken numerous actions to advance this goal, including passing the bipartisan infrastructure law that provides hundreds of billions in new funding for climate resilience, weatherization, firefighting and prevention, and clean energy investments.
“As part of the Biden-Harris Administration, AmeriCorps will continue to focus on the important issues of our time: strengthening education, meeting public health needs, increasing economic opportunity and responding to disasters and climate change.
“As CEO, I remain committed to advancing equity and removing barriers to service. Climate change isn’t just an environmental issue, it’s an economic and racial equity issue. AmeriCorps engages many communities in service and creates employment pathways for youth of color and youth from underserved communities to further climate and equity efforts – and we plan to expand this approach going forward.
“National service is a proven pathway to green careers. Whether learning how to install solar panels or preserving public lands, AmeriCorps is a pathway for the clean energy jobs of the future.
“This Earth Day and National Volunteer Week, I urge all Americans to join in the fight for our environment. For long-term, short-term, or just one-time volunteer opportunities use the AmeriCorps Volunteer Search, powered by VolunteerMatch. Visit americorps.gov/volunteer to find out more.”
AmeriCorps has provided significant funding to support conservation, renewable energy and community resilience projects for almost three decades. In 2021, 16,000 AmeriCorps members and volunteers improved more than 400,000 acres of parks and public lands; treated 14,500 miles of trails or rivers; weatherized or retrofitted more than 7,000 homes or public structures; protected or restored nearly 1,000 structures after natural disasters; and provided environmental stewardship education and training to more than 200,00 individuals. Read more about AmeriCorps’ work on climate.