Rhode Island governor Dan McKee (pictured above) has given his support to the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council’s decision to allocate $2.6 million for the implementation of the 2021 Act on Climate in Rhode Island.

This council, commonly known as EC4, evaluates greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts and the resilience of cities and towns. The state budget in June provided funding for EC4.

The $2.6 million will be divided among eight state agencies, prioritizing both resilience and carbon emissions reduction.

Terry Gray, the director of the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and chairman of the council, stated that his agency will receive $220,000. The DEM will use this money to improve climate resiliency. The DEM will also enhance urban forestry by making plots of land more conducive to tree growth.

The largest allocation is $1.1 million for the Office of Energy Resources to support DRIVE EV and E-bike rebate programs. This represents 42 percent of the funding.

Chris Kearns, the state’s acting energy commissioner, told reporters that this investment will expedite the adoption of cleaner transportation.

The e-bike rebate program ran out of money in August due to its huge popularity.

As of August 7, the standard e-bike rebate in Rhode Island was $350. Low-income individuals could get up to $750. It’s not yet certain whether these rebate amounts will increase with the $1.1 million in new funding.

According to the Jamestown Press, the remainder of the $2.6 million spending package will be distributed as follows:

  • The statewide planning office will receive $100,000 to collaborate with municipalities, review local regulations, and identify opportunities to promote climate resilience.
  • Rhode Island Commerce will get $200,000 to directly assist the business community in navigating various incentive programs.
  • The Department of Health will receive $80,000 to examine the correlation between chemical contamination, flooding, and cancer.
  • The Department of Labor and Training will get $150,000 to establish a grant program. This program will concentrate on environmental education, professional development, apprenticeships, and internships.
  • The Public Utilities Commission will receive $150,000 to hire an additional employee. This employee will help implement the Act on Climate’s provisions.
  • The infrastructure bank will receive $150,000 to provide technical support to municipalities, school districts, and publicly owned utilities.

The unallocated $450,000 will go toward employing grant writers and assessing the viability of implementing net-zero improvements for public structures.

Image Source: The Newport Buzz, https://shorturl.at/bEV19