CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 259 Inclusiv CEO Cathie Mahon on Climate Change and Credit Unions

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$200 billion. That is how much money is in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and one credit union voice that has been loud in seeking a share is Inclusiv, the trade group for community development credit unions that now has 470 members.

Just why is Inclusiv involved in this?

Exactly that question is why we invited Inclusiv CEO Cathie Mahon on the show.  She’s a past guest – in 2019 she was in episode 15.

In this show, she offers an articulate explanation of why environmental issues are in fact central to the concerns of community development credit unions.

In June Mahon testified before the US Senate Climate Change Task Force where she said, “As credit unions invest in climate solutions, they find strong synergies between increasing access to clean energy and improved financial stability. As a community-owned and controlled financial institution, community development credit unions see both a responsibility and an opportunity to make their communities greener and more resilient. These institutions serve those located at the frontlines of climate change, specifically communities with the poorest air quality, highest energy burden, and most vulnerability to climate events such as hurricanes, floods, drought, wildfires, and tornadoes.”

She has that very right. Often it is the poorest communities that deal with the harshest impacts of climate change.

What can credit unions do about this? Lots and lots, as you will hear in the show.  Everything from helping with loans to replace old appliances with energy-efficient ones to encouraging job training for minority contractors who want to pursue opportunities in, for instance, installing solar arrays on homes and apartment buildings.

Mahon sees many, many ways for credit unions to have positive impacts on their communities.

Also in the show, she offers comment on attempts in the US House to slash the federal funding for CDFIs – a genuinely dumb idea.

And she also talks about Inclusiv’s new ties to QCash, the small dollar loan company that has been birthed by the credit union movement to give members a far better alternative to predatory loans.

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