US President Joe Biden has issued his authority to launch a new “Climate Corps” programme amid rising pressure from environmental advocates.  

Announced on Wednesday, the initiative seeks to offer paid training to 20,000 young people to help them get high-paying jobs in areas of clean energy, conservation and climate change.  

The approval for Climate Corps comes after efforts to create a similar programme failed last year after the Republicans opposed it.  

According to the fact sheet issued by the White House, the programme will mobilise a new generation by “putting them to work conserving and restoring our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, deploying clean energy, implementing energy-efficient technologies, and advancing environmental justice, all while creating pathways to high-quality, good-paying clean energy and climate resilience jobs in the public and private sectors after they complete their paid training program”. 

The programme seeks to focus on equity and prioritise communities traditionally left behind. As of Wednesday’s announcement, the fact sheet claims that ten states will have launched Climate Corps in 2021. California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan and Washington have already begun similar programmes, White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi said, adding that five more states are launching their own version of Climate Corps.  

The White House has not yet disclosed how much the programme will cost or how it will be paid for.  

The Biden administration has also promised to implement a wide range of benefits for the clean energy transition, particularly through the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022.  

Ahead of the US presidential elections in 2024, the Biden administration is positioning itself as a strong contender for delivering on climate goals. Earlier this month, the Biden administration also blocked oil drilling on ten million acres of land in Alaska, cancelling leases approved under the Trump administration.