Climate Justice Alliance statement: Biden’s new environmental justice plan makes strides but gaps remain
Climate Justice Alliance
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is encouraged by former Vice President Joe Biden’s most recent environmental justice plan. His consideration of the tenets of frontline organizations and communities who are leading the climate justice struggle and are working for a Just Transition to regenerative economies is appreciated.
We are heartened to see the Biden team taking guidance from the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Passed in New York state last year, this legislation was made possible by the leadership of frontline organizations and Climate Justice Alliance members including the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYCEJA), PUSH Buffalo and UPROSE. Specifically, the commitment to invest 40% of renewable energy investments in frontline communities is a welcomed and needed commitment to these communities that have been historically extracted from and actively harmed.
"We are grateful the Vice President chose to model his 40% clean energy funding commitment after New York State’s historic Climate & Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Passed just last year, the Climate & Community Protection Act is the most ambitious climate action plan among the 50 states - through NY Renews, environmental justice leaders fought for four years to pass this landmark legislation and ensure that adequate clean energy funding finally reaches our disproportionately vulnerable frontline communities. But that is only part of the Just Transition framework we envision. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration on finally setting the USA on a path to environmental and climate justice - because we all know that justice delayed is justice denied.”
- Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
Holding extractive industries like Big Oil and Big Ag cartels responsible for their actions is another necessary next step and part of the justice equation. As such, the Vice President’s intention to hold these industries criminally accountable for decades of crimes against the planet and communities should be applauded and followed through on.
Nevertheless, Climate Justice Alliance still has many questions regarding the Vice President’s plan to: reduce and eliminate the use of fossil fuels and harmful practices like fracking; increase Energy Democracy and Food Sovereignty; and foster a Just Transition for workers and communities. At this time, the plan is also missing a comprehensive approach to addressing Indigenous Sovereignty, including Free, Prior and Informed Consent. We look forward to attaining these answers in an effort to build off of what is otherwise a satisfactory plan that shows progress and great steps in the right direction.
“The member organizations of Climate Justice Alliance have developed and implemented solutions for some time and we are looking to elected officials for support in scaling them out. We’re hopeful that the Biden team continues to progress and build off of this platform in an effort to center, address, and dismantle the myriad forms of injustice that adversely impact our people and communities.”
- Angela Mahecha Adrar, Climate Justice Alliance Executive Director