In a groundbreaking announcement before a distinguished audience of national and regional business and civic leaders, founders, and investors at the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech event, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson introduced the Chicagoland Climate Investment Alliance.

The Chicagoland Climate Investment Alliance (the “Alliance”) represents a pivotal step forward in harnessing the strengths of the Chicagoland region and the broader Midwest, positioning it as a leading hub for climate innovation, economic development, and investment. The Alliance will support the commercialization of climate technologies and strengthen the region’s innovation ecosystem to address climate challenges through technology and innovation.

“Here in Illinois, we’re proud to be a nation-leading hub of clean energy policy, investments, and innovation,” said Governor J.B. Pritzker. “The landmark Chicagoland Climate Investment Alliance is another step forward that will propel our workforce, industries, and businesses toward an equitable, clean energy future. As the heart of the Midwest and the nation, we will continue to lead the charge with bold actions rooted in the highest levels of ethics, equity, and consumer protections.”

“I’m fully committed to working with organizers and frontline communities that have shouldered the burden of pollution, climate change and environmental justice for far too long,” said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Now is the time for transformative change, and together, we’ll build a more equitable city and region. I am confident that the Chicagoland Climate Investment Alliance will help our city, state and the entire Midwest realize a more resilient and equitable future.”

Among the first orders of business for the Alliance is organizing a Midwest consortium led by the National Community Investment Fund to submit a $1 billion proposal entitled “Rust Belt to Green Belt Initiative” to the EPA’s Clean Communities Investment Accelerator, a central component of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.  The proposed plan underscores the region’s commitment to targeted decarbonization funds, symbolizing a distinct transformation from rust belt to a hub of sustainable climate innovation.

The Chicagoland Climate Investment Alliance will:

  • Forge an Interconnected Climate Innovation Ecosystem: Prioritizing cohesive and impactful programming across sectors, including agtech, clean energy, water, food, and recycling.
  • Accelerate Local Startups: Providing support to innovative, eco-friendly solutions born throughout the Chicagoland region.
  • Mobilize Substantial Climate Investments: Spurring job growth and economic development in Chicagoland and the Midwest, particularly in specialized sectors such as building decarbonization and materials-science innovations.
  • Secure Federal Support: Seek federal backing and investment in green initiatives within the Midwest region, with a focus on climate-resilient technologies.
  • Strengthen Climate Ecosystem Collaborations: Convening and collaborating with national, regional, and local ecosystem partners to fortify the climate economy, fostering innovation and growth within the Midwest region.