$6m to combat climate change on US tribal lands

The US Government is funding $6 million (£4m) to establish green energy projects and tackle climate change on tribal lands. Threats to tribal energy infrastructure are expected to increase due […]

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The US Government is funding $6 million (£4m) to establish green energy projects and tackle climate change on tribal lands.

Threats to tribal energy infrastructure are expected to increase due to climate change impacting extreme weather conditions, according to a new report by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The funding aims to deploy clean energy and energy efficiency projects by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting economic development.

Tribal lands comprise nearly 2% of US land but contain about 5% of all the country’s renewable energy resources with more than 9TW of potential installed capacity.

The report found electricity expenses would increase for tribal lands and Alaskan native villages as higher temperatures are likely to increase air conditioning demand.

It added there is a greater likelihood of power outages due to damage to electric grid and generation infrastructure.

It went on to say more frequent disruptions in fuel supply due to damage to transportation infrastructure or delays in rail, barge or truck operations during severe weather are also expected.

The report also forecasts reduced electricity generation capacity for some power plants in the regions.

Chris Deschene, Director of DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programmes, said: “Tribes are among the US communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

“Tribal lands, which are home to more than one million people, have a relatively high proportion of low income residents and tribes have limited resources to respond to climate-related impacts.”

Earlier this year the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted $1 million (£0.6m) for tribal applicants to replace diesel engines.

Last year two native American tribes were acclaimed ‘energy champions’ by President Barack Obama.