Click on the link above to learn more about House Resolution 479 which the EJ Leadership Forum worked on with Progressive Caucus Cochairs Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva as well as a Letter to President Obama asking for greater attention to environmental justice.
“Close the EJ Gap” (Sept. 2013- Feb. 2014)
WE ACT was awarded a US Climate Action Network Grant to support efforts to create accountability regarding the President’s Climate Action Plan. Over the grant period and beyond, WE ACT will be working with the members of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change, while engaging new stakeholders, building Congressional allies and spearheading local/state based campaigns to hold our federal Agencies accountable.
What’s the Gap?
President Obama issued his Climate Action Plan (CAP) in June 2013.
While the President is to be commended for this action, there are many concerns that the President’s plan did not adequately represent the concerns of environmental justice communities. In addition to the fact that the word “environmental justice’ or ‘vulnerable’ was only mentioned once,
- the elimination of co-pollutants and/or hotspots was not included
- the strategies presented for alternative energy were not conducive to our concerns, and
- health and community engagement did not seem to be a priority
His plan fails to address sufficiently the serious vulnerabilities and disparate exposures that many low income communities and communities of color experience as extreme weather continues to hit our nation with more intensity and frequency. In fact, the Forum sent a letter directly to the President and key members of his staff uplifting this concerns a couple days after the announcement of the CAP. To this day, we have not received a response.
This GAP must be closed.
In our fight for Climate Justice, we want the President and his Administration to strongly consider our recommendations for the Climate Action Plan. The Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change is positioned to shape public discussion about the proposed federal agency actions. Our second formal response to the President is below.
What do we want?
The President and his Administration to formally acknowledge that environmental justice is not a part of the current Climate Action Plan.
The President and his Administration’s commitment to amend the current CAP no later than February 11, 2014, the 20th anniversary of the Environmental Justice Executive Order.
To make sure that environmental justice leaders, from the community, are a significant part of the implementation phase of the Climate Action Plan going forward.