“It’s clear that the state is lagging behind where we need to be in slashing climate-damaging emissions,” said Caitlin Peale Sloan, Vice President of CLF Massachusetts. “This Administration and the next one need to prioritize real movement in existing policies to match the analysis in this plan, which relies heavily on vague proposals for programs yet to be developed. We need focused and sustained leadership to ensure that systemic change can be achieved in time, as incremental steps will no longer cut it. Any efforts also need to be anchored in equity and justice, and we’ll be pushing officials to improve the plan released today.”
With pressure from CLF’s lawsuit mounting, the oil giant closed its polluting facility. But that won’t allow them to escape responsibility for it.
“It’s past time we take a stand against environmental injustices in Vermont,” said Elena Mihaly, Vice President of CLF Vermont. “For too long, some communities have been overburdened by environmental harms like pollution or flooding, while having little access to environmental benefits, like green spaces, clean energy, and public transportation. All Vermonters have the right to decide what happens in their communities and enjoy a healthy environment, and this law is an important step towards making that a reality.”
President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative Promises to Tackle Climate Injustice – But It Needs to Do Better for Communities of Color
New federal and state laws and policies require government agencies to invest in environmental justice populations. The details behind these requirements must recognize the primary predictor to experience environmental burdens: race. CLF is working to ensure that government investments reach the populations who have endured the brunt of pollution and other consequences of climate change.
Our health is inextricably tied to the environment’s health, especially for communities overburdened by climate change. It’s for this reason Vermont needs an environmental justice law.
Where we live affects how much pollution we experience each day. It affects how long our commute is, how hot our neighborhood gets in the summer, whether we can afford winter heating bills, how much or how little open space we have around us, and whether we have access to healthy homes, nourishing food, and quality schools.
“Allowing this substation to be built ignores community voices and established law in Massachusetts,” said Staci Rubin, Vice President, Environmental Justice, CLF. “If the loud community opposition wasn’t enough to sink this project, the proposed site should be reserved for uses that must be on the water, not energy infrastructure that can be located elsewhere. It’s time for state officials to evaluate this project on its merits instead of rubber stamping Eversource’s requests.”
“The actions announced today give Connecticut’s communities vital new tools to combat climate impacts,” said CLF attorney Shannon Laun. “We know this crisis won’t affect everyone equally, so the Governor’s focus on environmental justice and equity is absolutely critical. We’ll be pushing our leaders to go further by strengthening climate targets, adopting stronger vehicle emissions standards, accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, and rapidly phasing out fossil fuels.”
We must learn as a people to protect not only ourselves and the environment but also to fight another form of systemic and institutional racism that is killing us all – environmental racism.
Burying incinerator ash harms our health and environment. Yet, as New England’s incinerators limp on well past their lifespans, several ash landfills across the region want to expand.