The Just Transition Fund – a collaboration between Rockefeller Family Fund and Appalachia Funders Network – will hold its first convening in Washington, D.C. on March 30 – 31. The event will provide interested funders with an opportunity to learn about energy and economic transition work directly from advocates leading these efforts in Appalachian coalfield and power plant communities around the country.
The convening will bring together the Fund’s current grantees (click here to read a summary of JTF grantees receiving POWER grants), local and regional transition leaders, and other key stakeholders to promote learning across regions. Discussions will also include labor leaders, economic development experts, and government officials responsible for administering President Obama’s POWER+ Plan. “Transition” isn’t a one-size-fits-all model for these areas. The convening allows participants to draw out best practices and identify the common needs of communities transitioning to a more just and sustainable economy. The meeting will also provide support to a newly emerging, national network – one that strategically links power plant and coalfield communities – in support of transition.
The U.S. government is increasingly interested in transition activities. In December, Congress set aside roughly $150 million for portions of POWER+. In February, a bipartisan group of Representatives introduced the RECLAIM Act, which would provide $1 billion to create reclamation jobs on abandoned mine lands and create economic opportunities in coal-impacted communities. The convening provides a closer look at how foundations can leverage this federal investment and help support coal-impacted communities.
This post is a collaborative effort between Heidi Binko of Rockefeller Family Fund, Sandra Mikush of Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, and blue moon fund.