A coalition of more than seventy environmental and climate justice organizations and advocates has issued a policy platform designed to infuse equity principles into the national discussion around the climate crisis ahead of the 2020 elections.
Calling for "national climate action that confronts racial, economic, and environmental injustice as it enacts deep cuts in climate pollution and accelerates a pollution-free energy future that benefits all communities," the Equitable and Just National Climate Platform (HTML or PDF, 10 pages) is intended to help local, regional, and national policy makers, business leaders, and civil society advocates address "the central environmental threat facing humankind" in a racially equitable way. Among other things, the platform calls for solutions that address the legacy of pollution on communities of color and tribal and low-income communities; make justice and equity a priority in all climate actions; reduce pollution from greenhouse gases and transportation; rebuild housing and infrastructure with climate resilience in mind; and scale up both domestic and international climate action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.
The platform was developed by participants in the Climate Forum, which was launched in October 2018 by the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED), the Center for American Progress, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, with support from the Midwest Environmental Justice Network, and the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance; the Kresge Foundation helped fund the platform. Inaugural signatories also include Earthjustice; the Sierra Club; the Union of Concerned Scientists; WE ACT for Environmental Justice; the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment; the Farmworker Association of Florida; the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware; and the Native Justice Coalition.
"This platform represents decades of work and policy ideas from environmental justice communities, too often invisible to the public," said CEED executive director Cecilia Martinez. "For too long, indigenous people and people of color have borne the brunt of pollution. By bringing this forward with our national allies, we are giving voice to all this historical work. Acting collectively, we can make a better world."
"This historic collaboration signals an understanding that our local, national, and global environmental and climate goals will not be realized without a collective commitment to addressing the challenges faced by the most impacted communities," said WE ACT executive director Peggy Shepard. "We must ensure that front-line communities provide leadership in realizing the solutions that address the climate and environmental challenges facing us all."