California Climate Action Corps Fellows pose for a photograph. Photo submitted

New state budget doubles down on climate action by expanding California Climate Action Corps

Reaffirming the state’s commitment to build a more climate ready and safe California, Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature approved an additional $4.6 million in annual, ongoing funding to double the amount of paid service opportunities for California Climate Action Corps in the 2023-2024 State Budget.

The ongoing, increased funding will allow more California Climate Action Corps Fellows to serve in communities across the state to engage volunteers, educate the public and participate in urban greening, wildfire resiliency and organic waste and edible food recovery activities.

“Tackling the climate crisis takes partners at all levels, and the California Climate Action Corps is mobilizing energized Californians all across our state to drive climate action in ways never seen before,” said  Newsom.

The budget deal comes on the heels of a high-profile visit from President Joe Biden who expressed his optimism about the program, “When I think of climate, I think of jobs. When I think of climate, I think of innovation. When I think of climate, I think of turning peril into progress.”

Newsom launched California Climate Action Corps as the nation’s first state-level climate service corps with the mission of empowering Californians to take meaningful action to protect their homes, health and communities against the harshest impacts of climate change. The program is led by California Volunteers, Office of the Governor.

“This budget is a statement about Californian’s values and their passion to take action against this existential threat,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “Our California Climate Action Corps Fellows are doing critical work, engaging community members and inspiring us to do more.”

As AmeriCorps California members, fellows earn up to $43,000 in living stipends and money for school for successful completion of 1,700 hours of service between Sept. 18, 2023, and Aug. 15, 2024.

California Volunteers, Office of the Governor is currently seeking applicants with a passion for climate action to apply for the 2023- 2024 California Climate Action Corps paid service program. Learn more and apply at ClimateActionCorps.ca.gov.

California Volunteers also administers #CaliforniansForAll Youth Corps, AmeriCorps California and #CaliforniansForAll College Corps. In the coming years, California Volunteers will deploy a force larger than the Peace Corps to serve in California communities.

For those unable to commit to a year of service, hundreds of volunteer opportunities throughout the state are posted on the California Volunteers website. Visit californiavolunteers.ca.gov to learn more about paid service opportunities, or search for volunteer opportunities.

California Climate Action Corp Fellowship achievements

  • 10,441,177 pounds food or organic waste diverted from landfills
  • 2,339,677 pounds of recovered food distributed to people in need (new data point this term)
  • 21,817 volunteers engaged for 73,411 hours of climate action
  • 7,071 trees planted, 164,898 trees maintained, and 15,189 trees donated
  • 90,330 people engaged through climate-related outreach and education

President Joe Biden visits with U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo, Governor Gavin Newsom and California Climate Action Corps Fellow Chiena Ty at Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto on June 19, 2023.

California Climate Action Corps Fellows and volunteers celebrate during Community Climate Action Day – San Jose, where they participated in tree plantings, composting, canvassing neighborhoods and brush clearing.