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Media Release

Self-Help finance policy report urges accelerated investment in an inclusive clean-energy economy benefiting low-wealth communities

New report highlights ways to expedite transition to clean energy

Feb 11, 2021

[Durham, North Carolina | February 11, 2021] — The Center for Community Self-Help (Self-Help) with support from community partners today released a policy paper recommending immediate actions to fight climate change and expedite transition to clean energy.

The report acknowledges the vital role the federal government has to play in aligning financial incentives to reduce the disparate impact of climate change on low-wealth communities and communities of color that are more vulnerable to the economic and health impacts of environmental degradation.  It offers recommendations for updating existing federal programs and regulation to shape incentives for positive environmental change and to accelerate investment in an inclusive clean-energy economy with widespread job creation.

Since 1980, Self-Help has provided more than $9.3 billion in financing, with 70% of our lending in underserved areas and 82% to low-income borrowers. In recent years we have strengthened our focus on financing for environmental sustainability, especially to benefit lower-wealth communities.

Too many federal policies actually enable climate change, and financial incentives are often directly at odds with the investments needed to make a difference. Our recommendations are based on 40 years of effective community development—building wealth and ownership among lower-income families and leading investments in neglected communities to create jobs and drive economic growth.

You can download the report, The Climate Imperative & Community Finance, and read more about our environmental work at our website. A video summary of the report can be found here.

This report would not be possible without the support of The Hewlett Foundation and the facilitation of the Center for American Progress. We are grateful to them for their support and their confidence in us to conduct this work. Find out more at and

Self-Help, headquartered in Durham, NC, is one of the largest community development financial institutions in the nation.  Since 1980, Self-Help has provided more than $9.3 billion in financing to over 175,700 families, families, individuals and businesses. We help drive economic development and strengthen communities by providing responsible financial services; lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits; developing real estate; and promoting fair financial practices across the nation. Through our credit union network, Self-Help serves more than 167,000 people in California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. More information about Self-Help Credit Union can be found at

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 11, 2021 
For More Information, Contact:

Jenny Shields, Director of Media Relations, Center for Community Self-Help              Direct Line: 919.794.6798 | Email: