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RMI Recommends Key Stimulus Programs to Advance Zero-Carbon Economic Recovery for the United States

The latest Rocky Mountain Institute research outlines four key programs US policymakers could support through stimulus investment to jumpstart the economy and advance a low-carbon future for the United States.

Boulder, CO – May 19, 2020 – Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) today released a study recommending four key programs to direct US stimulus investment toward in order to support short- and long-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn while ensuring progress on the climate crisis. This is the latest report in RMI’s Green Stimulus and Recovery series.

The recommended programs aim to help the United States build back better by catalyzing industries, technologies, and practices shown to improve public health, create enduring job opportunities, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Congress acted swiftly to provide much-needed, immediate aid to many in need because of the COVID-19 crisis. But more stimulus is necessary to get things back on track. This report presents concrete recommendations policymakers can pursue to help the United States emerge from this crisis as a cleaner, more just, and more resilient country,” said Carla Frisch, principal at RMI and co-author of the report.

US Stimulus Strategy: Recommendations for a Zero-Carbon Economic Recovery is the second in a series of six papers that outline how targeted stimulus and recovery investments by countries and regions around the globe can help to simultaneously address both the pandemic-caused economic crisis and the looming climate crisis.

The first report, Global Stimulus Principles: The Economy We Build Should Not Be the Same Economy We Decarbonize, provided a framework for planning and evaluating future stimulus efforts. This new research describes specific ways this framework can be applied in the United States.

The four key programs outlined in the report are:

  • Build Back Better Buildings: A building retrofit program to catalyze residential and commercial building improvements at an unprecedented scale.
  • Enhance Access and Electrify Mobility: Investment to prioritize pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit over the automobile, while also supporting the growth of the electric vehicle market.
  • Debt Forgiveness for a Sustainable Recovery: A financial incentive program to provide companies with debt relief based on verifiable emissions reductions.
  • Economic Recovery Facility for Financing Low- and Zero-Carbon Activities: A federal entity dedicated to facilitating the financing of clean energy and infrastructure projects.

The analysis explains each of these recommended programs along with details about specific components of each.

“There are various pathways for addressing economic recovery and climate change simultaneously. These recommendations represent RMI’s perspective on programs that US policymakers should prioritize now because of their potential to stimulate urgent job growth in the near-term while accelerating decarbonization of the US economy in the long-term,” said Ben Holland, senior associate at RMI and co-author of the report.

In the coming weeks, RMI will release four more reports with recommendations for green stimulus and recovery investments and actions specific to China, India, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean that can help optimize efforts to rebuild in these countries and regions.

To download please visit, US Stimulus Strategy: Recommendations for a Zero-Carbon Economic Recovery.

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Notes to Editors

About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

More information on RMI can be found at or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.