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News: Justice Climate Fund Board Appoints Interim CEO

Sep 18, 2023

Justice Climate Fund Board Appoints Interim CEO Expert in inclusive finance to lead the financial initiative for environmental justice

Washington, D.C (September 18, 2023) —The Justice Climate Fund (JCF) Board, an assembly of eight distinguished leaders from BIPOC-led organizations, appointed Mr. Douglass Dubois Sims as the interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective today.

“The JCF was conceived with a clear mission: to provide capital, leverage resources, and champion zero-emission technologies in marginalized areas across the nation. With Mr. Sims onboard, we remain poised to bring transformative solutions to low-income and disadvantaged communities that address complex and multi-dimensional environmental challenges, so a just and sustainable future is possible for all,” Lenwood V. Long Sr., president and CEO of the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs and JCF board chair, said.

Cathie Mahon, president and CEO of Inclusivand JCF board treasurer, also commended the unanimous appointment of the JCF interim CEO. “This step in JCF’s development is an exciting milestone in our collective effort to ensure community-owned and -led financial institutions drive change in our communities by increasing access to affordable clean and efficient energy, reducing pollutants, and creating lasting solutions for our planet.”

Formed by the Community Color of Builders Coalition, JCF is an eligible direct recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). It will channel capital and resources towards community-focused lenders, which include Community Development Financial Institution and Minority Depository Institution credit unions, banks, and loan funds. This ensures underserved communities, especially those of color, can create good-paying jobs, lower energy costs, and safeguard the health of their families, while reducing pollution.

“It is a privilege to be a part of this historic work,” Mr. Sims said. “With guidance from the JCF Board and the support of our growing network of members and partners, the JCF team will bring to the forefront the voices of those who are most impacted by the climate crisis.”

He added that accessibility, transparency, inclusivity, and sustainability will drive the financial initiative’s efforts. “We will continue to engage and convene with all our stakeholders to empower the communities we serve. In bringing in everyone to decide on the positive course of our environmental future, our well-being and those of following generations are assured,” Mr. Sims said.

In the last two decades, Mr. Sims has been creating and implementing regulatory and market-based frameworks to increase investments in renewable energy and climate-resilient infrastructure. He has also spearheaded international and national strategies that facilitated both change and support for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr. Sims, who has held high-level roles in various nonprofit organizations, will also assist the JCF Board in searching for a permanent JFC CEO.

To date, JCF is in the process of submitting applications for the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator, a $6 billion program that will focus exclusively on low-income and disadvantaged communities, and the National Clean Investment Fund. The latter requires that at least 40 percent of the grant’s $14 billion budget will be dedicated to communities that have been historically left behind.

JCF, whose BIPOC-led members and partners have been working for many decades to bring equity and justice in underserved communities, has a collective financial strength of $461 billion in assets and vast grassroots presence across all of EPA’s 10 regions. Its expertise in green lending also positions the financial initiative as one of the most capable conduits to deploy intentional and coordinated investments that will strengthen the nation’s climate resilience.

About the Justice Climate Fund The Justice Climate Fund provides capital, leverages resources, and supports zero-emission technologies in underserved communities across the country. It is founded by the Community Color of Builders Coalition, a growing national network of BIPOC-led financial institutions and advocacy organizations. They have come together to ensure that all communities equitably benefit from the GGRF.

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