In a detailed letter to Congressional leaders, orgs push significant investment in policies to tackle climate crisis, cut pollution, create jobs and address environmental justice as part of economic recovery
Ian Quartin – Ian@CLEOInstitute.org
More than 50 advocacy organizations today called on leaders in Congress to make significant investments to accelerate the transition to a just 100% clean economy as part of an economic recovery. The requests, made in a letter delivered to House and Senate leadership, are supported by leading environmental, justice, and public health organizations.
“At the outset of the 117th Congress, the United States is confronted by the extraordinary and connected crises of the global pandemic, economic recession, deep racial injustice, a rapidly destabilizing climate, and democratic backsliding. Few sessions of Congress have ever shouldered a greater responsibility. Among the many acts of leadership that will be necessary, making it safely through these crises will require comprehensive and sustained federal investment to recover, rebuild, and lay the foundation for a more just and stable future,” the organizations wrote.
The organizations are calling for federal investments across the economy, from clean energy generation to agriculture, from cleantech to affordable housing and initiatives to bolster the environmental justice communities who currently bear the brunt of the climate crisis.
Targeted investments in clean energy infrastructure have the power to reduce dangerous pollution from our air and water, provide millions of good-paying jobs, improve resilience to climate disasters, provide equitable housing and transportation for all communities, enhance public health, and improve the quality of life of low-wealth communities and communities of color hit hardest by pollution and the climate crisis.
The groups leading the coalition sign-on letter include Alaska Wilderness League, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Azul, Black Millennials 4 Flint, Center for American Progress, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Clean Air Task Force, Climate Health Now, Climate Reality Project, The CLEO Institute, Coalition for Green Capital, Defend our Future, Earth Action, Inc., Earthjustice, Earthworks, Elected Officials to Protect America, Environmental Defense Fund, The Evangelical Environmental Network, Generation Progress, Green Education and Legal Fund, Green the Church, Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, Health Care Without Harm, Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, Hispanic Access Foundation, Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO), Interfaith Power & Light, Justice for Migrant Women, League of Conservation Voters, Moms Clean Air Force, Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance, National Audubon Society, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Wildlife Federation, Ohio Clinicians for Climate Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Social Responsibility—Arizona, PBR New Mexico, Queer Brown Vegan, Sierra Club, Texas Impact, Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility, Union of Concerned Scientists, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, USCAN, The Vermont Climate and Health Alliance, Voices for Progress, Western Organization of Resource Councils, The Wilderness Society, and Wisconsin Health Professionals for Climate Action.
“There is a moral imperative for climate action and environmental equity in the nation. The Black faith community believes that it’s our responsibility to protect God’s creation,” says Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, CEO and founder of Green The Church. “We must act on climate change and sustainability to protect the greatest gift God has bestowed on us – our planet. As climate change accelerates, it becomes more clear each day that those who will suffer first and most will be Black and Brown communities. Now is the time for climate investment that cleans up the air and prioritizes equitable policies that protect everyone, especially our most vulnerable.”
“This is a critical moment to make transformative investments that address the interconnected and ongoing health, economic, racial justice and climate crises our country is facing today,” says Abigail Dillen, President of Earthjustice. “These investments will help set us on a path to meet President Biden’s ambitious climate and environmental justice goals and build an equitable, pollution-free future.”
“As we adapt to a warming world, our elected leaders have a responsibility to act with urgency and propose comprehensive and immediate investments within every sector of government to tackle all the crises our country is experiencing,” says Yoca Arditi-Rocha, Executive Director of the CLEO Institute. “We have a sunset opportunity to amplify sustainable and equitable solutions, invest on resilient infrastructure, and stimulate an economy for all. There is no person in this country who has not felt the impacts of the global pandemic, economic recession, and climate emergency. How we react now will set the tone for how prepared we will be for the next crisis.”
“The 117th Congress has a historic chance to power up our economy, create healthier communities and build a more equitable and secure future for our children,” says Fred Krupp, President of Environmental Defense Fund. “By making bold investments now in clean energy, clean transportation and a more resilient grid, we can save thousands of lives, boost American manufacturing and create millions of good new jobs. America can win the global race to dominate these fast-growing sectors — but only if we make the right policy choices now.”
“Latinos know first hand how pollution disproportionately impacts our communities and how dirty air worsens asthma symptoms and triggers attacks in both adults and children. The climate crisis has always been at our doorstep, and that’s why the fight to combat climatechange is important and personal at the National Hispanic Medical Association. From the White House to Congress to local governments, our elected officials must take bold, decisive action to protect public health and fight the climate crisis. Let’s ensure ourchildren and grandchildren have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. We urge our leaders to commit to #ActOnClimate and stand firm because the #TimeToAct is now,” said Dr. Elena Ríos, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association.
“As our country recovers from the current COVID recession, we have the opportunity to build a more just and equitable economy—to build back better. The measures we propose in today’s letter are the foundation for needed investments in a safe climate, good paying union jobs, racial equity and a 100% clean future for our country. It is time for Congress to act on climate, jobs and justice,” said John Podesta, founder and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for American Progress.
“$100 billion of public funding for the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator national green banks is only a fraction of the total investment necessary to build affordable, resilient, zero emissions energy infrastructure for a growing American economy — but it’s a necessary fraction.” said Coalition for Green Capital CEO Reed Hundt.