Sustainable Building

There has been a significant focus since January on advancing a sustainable clean energy economy in the U.S. by the new Biden administration, which provides many opportunities for the Arizona local business community to advocate for a clean energy economy that can benefit businesses, municipalities, and residents. For local businesses, the benefits can include significant cost savings along with opportunities to differentiate and strengthen business plans and models for a more resilient economy. 

At Local First Arizona, our focus is on the business community making strides to combat the climate crisis. Impacts related to climate change are evident across regions and in many sectors important to society – such as human health, agriculture and food security, water supply, transportation, energy, ecosystems, and others – and are expected to become increasingly disruptive in the coming decades. Businesses play a key role in the mitigation of global warming, through decisions to invest in researching and implementing new energy technologies and energy efficiency measures. Our sustainability programs focus on partnerships and rewarding those businesses doing well in meeting sustainability goals with expanded markets and resources.

There are currently many opportunities for advocacy related to the new administration’s Build Back Better plan. One of the most significant features of the plan is grant and incentive programs for state and local government to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) chargers by 2030. These efforts include strong labor, training and installation standards along with utilizing the vast tools of federal procurement to electrify the federal fleet, and labor and affordable housing

investments. 

One of the major advocacy areas related to the plan is decarbonizing electric power, including reforming, extending, and expanding clean energy tax credits to accelerate clean electricity deployment. This area includes extending deadlines through at least 2030; expanding eligibility to standalone storage; and making credits direct pay and refundable, as well as expanding the State Energy Program.

Another important advocacy area related to the plan is electrifying transportation, including providing incentives for vehicle electrification designed to lower barriers to adoption, accelerate stock turnover and increase equitable access to clean vehicles. This area includes extending existing EV purchase tax credits; public charging infrastructure grants and extension of alternative fueling tax credit; point of sale rebates; and extra incentives for accessibility and equity. This area also includes existing mass transit services, while investing in further expansion and electrification such as long-term funding for transit programs with prioritization of low-income and pollution-burdened communities.

One of the recommendations across all economic sectors and especially relevant to local businesses is establishing a national green bank or technology deployment administration to provide targeted public investment in, and accelerate the deployment of, emerging low-carbon technologies in sectors across the economy.

Local First Arizona is committed to telling the stories of people and businesses across the state in the clean energy space, whether it is a doctor who has seen the effects of asthma firsthand, or a contractor who knows what solar panels will mean for their customers’ bottom line. To participate by telling us your story, use the contact information below to send your quote about clean energy and a headshot for use on our social media channels or in press outreach. You can also call to share your story so we can craft a quote on your behalf, or send a short one-minute video to use on our social media channels and in our digital

advertising. 

Your voice makes a difference in helping address climate change. Local First Arizona is here to help support and amplify your concerns.

 

To get involved, contact Michael Peel at mike@localfirstaz.com or call (520) 975-0145. Michael Peel is the statewide sustainability director for Local First Arizona. He can be contacted at mike@localfirstaz.com. Learn more about Local First Arizona at www.localfirstaz.com.