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Environmental Justice

The climate crisis affects everyone, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally. This topic presents plans to restore equality and decision-making power to communities overburdened by pollution or least able to adapt to climate change. Please vote to identify shared goals.

Sub Topics

 Community Empowerment

. CLEAN Future Act: Establish an interagency working group on environmental justice, require federal agencies to integrate EJ into their missions and develop comprehensive, agency-wide EJ strategies.

Documents: DB137

. Make environmental and social justice central to climate action.

Documents: D10 D41 D148

. Protect the interests of low-income people, women and workers against the impacts of climate change and severe weather events.

Documents: DL58

. Invest in worker-supported economic organizations such as cooperatives and other community wealth-building strategies.

Documents: D17 D41

. Facilitate the creation of neighborhood transition councils as hubs of distribution, education, participatory planning, and democratic decision-making

Documents: D17

. Earmark investments in residential energy efficiency, storage, solar and community distributed generation projects for disadvantaged communities.

Documents: D21 D41 DL58 DL61 D130

. Increase resources for environmental enforcement in the most overburdened communities.

Documents: D21

. Require that all utilities make funds available for energy assistance to low-income households, including bill reductions, energy efficiency upgrades, and direct ownership of household energy systems.

Documents: DL61

. Invest in deindustrialized and rural communities to help spur economic development and diversification.

Documents: DB71

. Offset energy price impacts of climate policy on low- and fixed-income Americans.

Documents: DB71

. Prioritize funding for clean energy projects proposed by Indigenous Peoples and by communities overburdened by pollution.

Documents: D130

. Build local community wealth with non-extractive and regenerative loan funds that support the building of sustainable, community-benefitting, local economies.

Documents: D10

. Redefine “returns” and “risks” to measure the degradation of our communities and ecological systems, measuring returns on investment by the stability and health of our communities and planet.

Documents: D10

. Provide financial support to least-developed nations to cope with the effects of climate change.

Documents: D41

. CLEAN Future Act: Reauthorize low-income home energy assistance program.

Documents: DB137

. CLEAN Future Act: Require the National Climate Bank to prioritize investments in communities disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change.

Documents: DB137

. Ensure all laws and regulations take into account the complete environmental and social costs of emissions, with particular attention to disadvantaged communities.

Documents: DB3 DB48 DL58

. Create a separate standard for GHG emission reductions for de minimis emissions by small business.

Documents: DL58

. Ensure that any offset of GHGs do not result in a disproportionate environmental impact on disadvantaged communities, and prioritize those projects that benefit them.

Documents: DL58

. Require GHG emission offset projects to be located geographically close to the source of emissions and provide benefit to the local ecosystem or people.

Documents: DL58

. Establish criteria to identify disadvantaged communities: areas burdened by cumulative environmental pollution; low income, high unemployment, high rent burden, low levels of home ownership, low levels of educational attainment, historic discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity; and areas vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as flooding, storm surges, and urban heat island effects.

Documents: DL58 DL61

. Conduct research on environmental and climate issues in frontline communities.

Documents: DB48

. For the allocation of ratepayer funds for clean energy, develop and report metrics for energy savings and clean energy market penetration in the low and moderate income market and in disadvantaged communities.

Documents: DL58

. Establish a community advisory council with representatives from environmental justice communities and labor organizations to advise government agencies working on the clean energy transition and workforce development in disadvantaged communities.

Documents: DL58

. Report on barriers to and opportunities for community ownership of the following services in disadvantaged communities: distributed renewable energy generation; energy efficiency and weatherization investments; adaptation measures; and microgrids.

Documents: DL58

. Report on barriers to and opportunities for community ownership of low-emission transportation in disadvantaged communities.

Documents: DL58

. Report on barriers to and opportunities for community ownership of shelters for extreme weather events and medical treatment for conditions exacerbated by climate-related events.

Documents: DL58

. Establish and implement easily-replicated renewable energy projects, including solar arrays, heat pumps and wind turbines in public low-income housing in suburban, urban and rural areas.

Documents: DL58

. Establish a grant program to build and expand community energy generation in public housing.

Documents: DB106

. Ensure that a public housing entity retains 90 percent of any profits earned by selling the energy it generates, with residents voting on how to use those profits.

Documents: DB106

. Establish grant program for the purchase and installation of energy storage in public housing.

Documents: DB106

 Stakeholder Consultation

. Develop federal climate legislation in a transparent, inclusive and democratic way, including Town Halls.

Documents: D10

. Hold regional public hearings on draft climate plans and provide meaningful opportunities for public comment from all impacted.

Documents: DL57 DL58 DB106 DB112

. Frontline and vulnerable communities must be represented in all climate-related rulemaking.

Documents: DB2 DB3 DB37 DB48 DL58 DB71 D73

. Establish a committee to make recommendations for ensuring the health and safety of individuals residing in, and the prosperity of, natural gas- and oil-producing regions during the phaseout of production of natural gas and oil, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including representatives of organized labor, frontline and vulnerable communities, and State and local governmental representatives of the regions.

Documents: DB37

. Establish a federal council of representatives from American Indian, Alaska Native Tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations, Native Organizations and Indigenous communities, low-income communities, people of color, immigrants, environmental justice organizations and networks and those who are disproportionately burdened by pollution, to determine the most effective ways to appropriate funds for the renewable energy transition.

Documents: DB2

. Ensure community participation to set infrastructure investment priorities.

Documents: D41

. Set up regional networks to allow communities control over spending of government funds to transition to agroecology.

Documents: D13

. Strengthen community involvement in environmental decision-making and enforcement, with special consideration of indigenous communities.

Documents: D21

. Incorporate resident voices and resident reporting of environmental justice violations in government targeting of environmental enforcement.

Documents: D14

. CLEAN Future Act: Provide technical assistance grants to local communities to help them participate in federal regulatory decision-making processes regarding waste disposal and air permits.

Documents: DB137

. Implement climate justice education in schools according to recommendations from climate justice groups and frontline communities.

Documents: D9

. Ensure that public housing residents have the opportunity to comment on the grant applications for assistance with climate adaptation and emergency disaster response under this Act.

Documents: DB106

 Co-Pollutants

. Identify and eliminate all sources of pollution, with specific focus on low-income and minority communities.

Documents: DB3 D10 D13 D41 DL58 D74 D92

. Ensure that no alternative compliance mechanism in regulations allows any increase in co-pollutants.

Documents: DL58

. Prioritize deployment of zero-emissions technologies to communities that suffer co-pollutants from sources that also emit greenhouse gases.

Documents: DB7

. Use the Clean Air Act to eliminate emissions of co-pollutants from facilities using ethylene, propylene, polyethylene, and polypropylene.

Documents: D125

. Create a system for community air monitoring and assess existing burdens.

Documents: DL57 DL58

. Identify communities with high cumulative exposure to toxic air and other pollutants.

Documents: DL58

. CLEAN Future Act: Require that state plans for clean air and disposal of hazardous waste address disproportionate exposures to legacy toxic chemicals.

Documents: DB137

. CLEAN Future Act: Address toxic exposure from fossil fuel energy production with new, strong coal ash disposal requirements.

Documents: DB137

. Clean up all existing polluted sites.

Documents: DB3 D17 D21 DL58 D73 D74

. CLEAN Future Act: Establish measures to minimize the risk of release of toxic chemicals from facilities due to extreme weather, and ensure financial liability and CERCLA liability for such releases.

Documents: DB137

 Adaptation

. Help state agencies asses potential effects of climate change on proposed projects, accounting for sea level rise, cyclones, flooding, temperature and precipitation change, public health, and habitats.

Documents: DL58

. Invest in health monitoring and research to measure progress on climate resilience.

Documents: D41

. Create federal standards for defining, measuring and valuing resilience.

Documents: D68

. CLEAN Future Act: Develop a national strategic action plan to prepare health care systems for impacts of climate change, support state and local efforts to develop climate preparedness plans, and research intersection of climate change and health, including tracking infectious diseases.

Documents: DB137

. Create programs to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Documents: D17

. Environmental conservation permitting must require applicants to analyze future physical climate risk and take steps to mitigate such risk.

Documents: DL58

. Prioritize adaptation investment in communities most vulnerable to climate change.

Documents: D17 D41

. Strengthen resilience of housing and infrastructure design to withstand more power weather and climate events, and help communities adapt to climate change impacts.

Documents: D31 D41 DB71 D120 D130

. Create public employment program in forest-fire prone regions to manage fire risk on land and make homes more fire-resistant.

Documents: D15

. Acknowledge the term “climate refugee” and welcome all climate refugees including war refugees, communal/gang violence refugees, and natural disaster refugees.

Documents: D9 D17

. Support the liberty of displaced people to decide whether to return to their communities or relocate to places of their choosing.

Documents: D41

. Work cooperatively with communities in the line of climatic danger to relocate to safer grounds

Documents: D17

. Establish a national fund for urban and rural resilience from climate impacts.

Documents: D21

. CLEAN Future Act: Create a Climate and National Security Working Group to consider impacts of climate change and develop action plan for national security impacts.

Documents: DB137

. Establish grants for public housing costs associated with climate adaptation and emergency disaster response.

Documents: DB106

 Labor

. Create a federal entity, modeled on the Civilian Conservation Corp, to hire workers and build the transition to a green economy, including restoration of federal forest and wetlands.

Documents: D10 D17 D18 DB51

. Require safe and healthy working conditions and proper training for workers in climate change related activity.

Documents: D10 DL58 D73

. Enforce all federal labor laws for all workers, including food and agriculture sectors.

Documents: DB3 D4 D10 D13 D14 D16 D21 D73 D84

. Ensure living wages for farmworkers, fishers and other food industry workers, including a normal workweek, and safe and humane working conditions.

Documents: D84

. Include worker and community reports of violations in environmental and labor standards enforcement.

Documents: D14

. Mandate third party inspections for compliance with worker rights.

Documents: D14

. Reform H-2A agricultural work visas to substantially raise prevailing wages, allow workers to move between employers, and hold employers who mistreat workers accountable.

Documents: D16

. Change immigration laws to create pathway to citizenship for farm field workers, processing plant workers, supermarket and restaurant workers.

Documents: D13 D16

. Guarantee the right to unionize for renewable energy workers.

Documents: DB2

. CLEAN Future Act: The National Climate Bank must ensure that all investments are accompanied by strong labor protections.

Documents: DB137

. CLEAN Future Act: Mandate payment of no less than local prevailing wage on all projects funded by the Act, and permit agencies to require project-specific labor agreements.

Documents: DB137

. Ban employers from asking applicants about criminal record prior to hiring for green jobs.

Documents: D148

. Ensure contractors for climate adaptation and emergency disaster response in public housing give preference to hiring public housing residents, veterans, military, highly skilled union workers, formerly incarcerated, or residents living within 50 miles.

Documents: DB106

. Require that jobs generated by this Act's grants for public housing energy projects go to low and very low-income persons.

Documents: DB106

. Require a percentage of contracts awarded under this Act go to public housing resident-owned businesses.

Documents: DB106

 International Trade

. Enact and enforce trade rules, procurement standards, and border adjustments with strong labor and environmental protections to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas and to grow domestic manufacturing in the United States.

Documents: DB3 D73 D132

. Negotiate trade agreements through an open process that invites the public to help formulate U.S. positions and to comment on negotiated texts in each round.

Documents: D132

. Ratify the remaining six conventions of the United Nations International Labor Organization.

Documents: D14

. Oppose trade deals that interfere with rebuilding local economies, regulating corporations, and stopping damaging extractive projects.

Documents: D130

. Eliminate rules that empower corporations to attack environmental and public health protections in unaccountable tribunals.

Documents: D132

. Safeguard energy sector regulation by overhauling overreaching trade rules.

Documents: D132

. Restrict pollution from motor carriers crossing borders.

Documents: D132

. Require green government procurement instead of restricting it.

Documents: D132

. Require governments to prioritize policies that minimize climate pollution.

Documents: D132

. Promote the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding, and services to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal.

Documents: D73

 Allied Causes

. Ensure the right for people to have dignified work and safe workplaces, a guaranteed family-sustaining wage, hours and benefits.

Documents: D11 D17 D21

. Guarantee the rights of workers to organize, collectively bargain, and engage in collective action.

Documents: D10 D11 D21 DB121

. Create comprehensive infrastructure plans focused on water, sanitation. sewage and other infrastructure, prioritizing disadvantaged communities.

Documents: DB3 D19 D21 D41

. Provide resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people, with emphasis on frontline and vulnerable communities.

Documents: DB3

. Guarantee childcare.

Documents: D17

. Guarantee housing.

Documents: DB3 D17 D73

. Ensure universal access to healthy food.

Documents: DB3 D4 D17

. Ensure health care for all.

Documents: DB3 D17 D41 D73

. Guarantee energy.

Documents: DB3 D17

. Guarantee clean air and water and a healthy environment.

Documents: DB3 D17

. Expand re-entry programs for the formerly incarcerated and reduce legal barriers that may prevent ex-offenders from entering jobs related to the Green New Deal.

Documents: D73

. Through reinvestment projects, restore vital resources, that are essential to the survival of human communities, back to communal ownership.

Documents: D10

. Create progressive taxes on the wealthy, large corporations, and polluting industries.

Documents: D17 D66 D75

. Introduce additional fiscal measures, such as an environmental damages tax and a financial transaction tax, to generate funds to support communities on the frontline of the climate and environmental crises.

Documents: D120

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