Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday the formation of the North Carolina Climate Action Corps, which will focus on climate issues across the state.
The North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (VolunteerNC), a division of the Governor’s office, secured funding to create the NCCAC as part of the Climate Action Corps National Expansion Pilot through the California Volunteers.
“In North Carolina, we have prioritized the transition to clean energy, and this expansion will bolster our efforts,” Cooper said in a press release. “This project will strengthen our clean energy workforce as we continue to lead the way toward a clean energy future.”
The NC Climate Action Corps will support 25 Climate Corps members across the state and serve with existing NC AmeriCorps programs, with a $1 million investment starting this fall.
Cooper said Climate Action Corps AmeriCorps members would address various climate issues throughout the state, including engaging community members in learning about the role of trees in improving air quality and absorbing carbon, assisting communities in managing hazardous fuels, and reintroducing controlled burns to protect communities from future catastrophic wildfires; address flood risk to build and restore shorelines, manage riparian buffers, and implement land management practices that buffer communities from the impacts of flooding and extreme storms; and working with communities to promote healthy food systems by expanding things like community gardens in urban/suburban areas.
The NCCAC will develop training programs and explore pathways to jobs in the climate industry.
Cooper signed Executive Order 246 in Jan. 2022, entitled North Carolina’s Transformation to a Clean, Equitable Economy, Executive Order 271 in October, which focused on growing the state’s zero-emissions vehicle market, and Executive Order 218 in June 2021, which deals with offshore wind power.