America’s New Climate Corps Will Need to Be a Lot Bigger


Climate change is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, and the United States has begun mobilizing an army to fight it: the American Climate Corps. Formerly conceptualized as the Civilian Climate Corps, the new initiative will “put more than 20,000 young people on career pathways in the growing fields of clean energy, conservation and climate resilience,” the White House said in a statement announcing the launch Wednesday. That means civilian gigs like managing forests to prevent wildfires, preserving coastal wetlands to mitigate sea-level rise, and retrofitting buildings to be more energy efficient.

“We’re seeing just a tremendous sense of urgency from young people who want to get into the business of helping build that more sustainable future,” Ali Zaidi, the White House national climate adviser, tells Wired. “Our goal is both to recruit from a diverse set of backgrounds—nobody left out, everybody welcome—but also to field a full team against the broad set of climate solutions that we know are available.”