WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Wildlife Federation’s Clean Economy Coalition of Color convened for their fourth conversation to discuss the Build Back Better agenda and the impact on communities of color. Discussions centered on investments in frontline and fenceline communities to address legacy environmental and health hazards, and best practices to ensure clean energy tax credits are implemented equitably.
“The unequal impacts of environmental racism, such as exposure to harmful pollutants, on Black and Brown communities has been documented for decades. A pollution fee assessed on companies that produce oil, coal and natural gas would supplement clean energy investments to ensure these polluters, rather than taxpayers, fund the energy transition. But the design and implementation must be centered in recommendations from frontline organizations,” said Mustafa Santiago Ali, vice president of environmental justice, climate, and community revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation.
“Energy is a social justice issue. Passing renewable energy tax cedits, coupled with state level policies to help communities of Black, indigenous and people of color benefit from investments, will pave the way for transitioning to a carbon-free future and create economic development at the local level,” said Theresa Cardenas.
“We believe that environmental justice, racial justice and a representative democracy are inextricably linked. Low income communities and communities of color have consistently and systematically been excluded from the political process, resulting in decades of environmental racism and a shameful lack of accountability for politicians and polluting corporations,” said Justin Kwasa, voting rights program director at League of Conservation Voters. “This is why League of Conservation Voters has invested in the protection of voting rights and supports the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act that are so important not only for our democracy but for our environment as well.”
The CECC is an alliance of some of the nation’s most insightful Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander leaders and advocates of color that are committed to amplifying ideas, recommendations, and solutions that uplift the priorities and economic interests of historically marginalized communities by guiding clean energy economy policies and implementation. The environmental justice team hopes to uplift equitable policies to inform decision-makers, share resources to build capacity among CECC member organizations, unpack legislation and policies that impact our communities, and highlight leaders of color that are currently operating in the clean economy to share best practices and lessons learned.
Learn more about the Clean Economy Coalition of Color.
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