Department of Energy funds establishment of Climate Resilience Centers

The Biden administration recently announced that it will fund six Climate Resiliency Centers on college campuses to ‘improve climate resilience’ in ‘vulnerable communities.’

This follows a continued environmental equity trend routinely covered by Campus Reform.

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that it will provide $5 million in combined funding to six projects initiating “Climate Resilience Centers” intended to advance climate science on college campuses. 

The Sept. 28 announcement states that the funded projects are aimed at increasing “the use and utility of DOE research to improve climate resilience, particularly in vulnerable communities.” 

Per the announcement, the projects will be funded for up to three years. 

One recipient school is North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University (North Carolina A&T)—which will look at “climate impacts on vulnerable communities in the Triad area of North Carolina, primarily Greensboro, Winston-Salem and even Charlotte,” according to principal investigator and physics professor Dr. Solomon Bililign

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Another major focus of North Carolina A&T’s Climate Resiliency Center is its goal to “address environmental equity concerns focused on climate resiliency in the Piedmont” region.

Campus Reform has regularly monitored the push for environmental equity research on college campuses. 

In January, a State University System of Florida (SUSF) report found that the Center for Environmental Equity and Justice (CEEJ) at Florida A&M University (FAMU) was entirely taxpayer funded to the tune of $1.79 million. 

This means that FAMU’s CEEJ constituted over 43% of the school’s entire Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion budget ($4.16 million). 

The DOE’s latest grant announcement comes in conjunction with the unveiling of the first “White House Climate Resilience Summit,” in which the Biden administration stated in a Sept. 28 press release that it will allocate more than $500 million in total funding to combat climate change. 

“Today’s announcements come on the heels of a historic stretch of actions and investments through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to bolster climate resilience nationwide,” the White House press release reads. 

[RELATED: Green energy policies lead to power outage, California college cancels its classes]

Campus Reform Higher Education Fellow, geoscientist, and Temple University Professor Ilya Buynevich told Campus Reform on Oct. 6 that while he agrees with scientific research funding to specific topics like storms, river floods, and droughts, “‘Climate change’ is too broad of a topic and cannot be a focus area.”

“This is more of a political issue,” he added. “Any time terms like ‘Climate crisis’, ‘Climate Justice’ and ‘Climate Corps’ are used, there is typically little or no scientific research involved.”

Campus Reform contacted the Department of Energy, North Carolina A&T, Dr. Simon Bililign, SUSF, FAMU, and the Biden administration for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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