Evergreen Applauds White House Step to Make Justice40 a Reality

In response to the White House issuing interim implementation guidance for the Justice40 initiative, Evergreen Action Campaigns Director Lena Moffitt issued the following statement:

“Due to generations of segregation and racist decision-making, communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately overburdened with toxic pollution and climate harms. President Biden committed to redressing those wrongs, and to giving all communities the opportunity to flourish in a just and inclusive clean energy economy. The Justice40 interim guidance issued today is a strong step in the right direction. 

“Now, agencies must diligently identify all of the programs covered by the Justice40 directive, and ensure that at least 40% of the benefits from those programs flow to disadvantaged communities. Throughout this process, the most impacted communities need to be at the table to discuss what benefits truly show up in their lives—the benefits must be real if we hope to build back better. 

“As agencies implement this guidance for existing programs, the Biden administration must also push Congressional Democrats to pass robust environmental justice investments in budget reconciliation legislation, for the communities that need it most. Without more investment, justice will remain elusive.”

In 2019, Governor Jay Inslee committed to direct at least 40% of federal climate investments to frontline communities in his Community Climate Justice plan. That same commitment became a key component of the Evergreen Action Plan, and was later adopted by then-candidate Joe Biden’s official campaign platform.