In case you missed it, environmental justice leaders and advocates are continuing to applaud the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 interim guidance that was recently issued by the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. The co-authors of the Equitable & Just National Climate Platform, a coalition of environmental justice and national environmental organizations, issued the following joint statement in response:

“With this strong directive to federal agencies, President Biden has begun translating his vision of securing environmental and economic justice for disadvantaged communities into reality on the ground. His Justice40 Initiative has great potential to deliver public health, economic and environmental benefits to communities overburdened by pollution, racial and economic inequality. It can help unravel systemic racism by making investments that address environmental, climate, racial and economic injustices that have plagued low-income people and communities of color for decades. We look forward to seeing federal agencies fully and effectively implement the White House guidance government-wide, so millions of people across the country living on the frontlines of toxic pollution and harm from climate change can count on a healthier, safer and prosperous future.”

The Equitable & Just National Climate Platform co-authors and inaugural signatories include:

  • Center for American Progress
  • Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy
  • Center for the Urban Environment at the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at Kean University
  • Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
  • Earthjustice
  • Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform
  • Harambee House–Citizens for Environmental Justice
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
  • Los Jardines Institute
  • Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition
  • Midwest Environmental Justice Network
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance
  • ReGenesis Project
  • Sierra Club
  • Tishman Environment and Design Center at the New School
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Justice40 is a whole-of-government effort to ensure that Federal agencies work with states, Tribes, and local communities to make good on President Biden’s promise to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. The interim guidance is a key step in the fulfillment of President Biden’s environmental justice commitments and introduces measures to guide agencies on their path to implementing Justice40, launches the Justice40 Pilot Program, and includes accountability and transparency tools to ensure agencies are working to reach the Justice40 goal.

The Justice40 pilot identifies 21 priority programs to immediately begin enhancing benefits for disadvantaged communities. These priority programs will provide a blueprint for other agencies to help inform their work to implement the Justice40 Initiative across government. This initial set of programs was selected following extensive consultation with environmental justice stakeholders and the recently established White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council.

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