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Building Clean, Climate-Resilient Communities through FEMA’s Grant Programs

On Aug. 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, marking a historic commitment to build a new clean energy economy and tackle the climate crisis.

The historic law authorizes the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Recovery and Emergency Act to provide financial assistance for costs associated with low-carbon building or construction materials and incentives that encourage low-carbon and net-zero energy projects. These funds and incentives support FEMA’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan goal of leading “whole of community in climate resilience” and encourage state, tribal, territories, and local partners to make strategic investments to build climate-resilient communities.

These clean, climate-resilient considerations are applicable to materials through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC), and Public Assistance (PA) Programs.

Additionally, net-zero projects are applicable through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Post-Fire, Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC), and Public Assistance (PA) Programs.

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Read more about the Implementation of Low-Carbon Materials.

Read more about the Implementation of Net-Zero Energy Projects

FEMA's Role

The Inflation Reduction Act authorizes FEMA to fund costs associated with low-carbon materials, even when the costs are higher than those for conventional materials, to help cut carbon pollution, and build back cleaner and more resilient. These efforts support the Federal Buy Clean Initiative to spur the development of lower carbon construction materials.

Under the Act, FEMA defines eligible low-carbon materials as concrete, asphalt, glass and steel that have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) lower than the estimated industry averages of similar products in North America. This information will be reported through an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).

States, tribes, territories and local communities will have more access to cleaner materials through eligible FEMA programs as communities rebuild or take initiatives to become more resilient. This ensures communities can help advance the clean energy economy as the they confront the impacts of the climate crisis.

Low Carbon Construction Materials

FEMA is targeting construction materials with the highest greenhouse gas emissions including: 

  • Concrete 
  • Asphalt 
  • Glass 
  • Steel 

In 2024, FEMA will be launching pilot projects across the nation that incorporate low carbon construction materials and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Net-Zero Energy Projects and Retrofits

Net-zero energy projects reduce utility costs for communities and significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution and climate related hazards. Examples of Net-zero energy projects include:  

  • On-site or off-site renewable energy including solar panels, microgrids, community solar, green retail tariffs, etc. 
  • Heat-pumps 
  • Electric stoves 
    • Induction Stoves 
  • Certified high-performance equipment and appliances 
  • Structure and glazing modifications for passive heating/cooling 

Examples of Net-Zero Energy projects already funded by FEMA include Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe’s Microgrid and the Newark Ironbound Resiliency Hub

Tools and Resources

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Learn about other ways FEMA is addressing climate change.

Contact Us

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For more information on the Inflation Reduction Act, email fema-climate@fema.dhs.gov.