Climate Equity Act Centers Environmental Justice Communities in Government Decision Making

EDF statement from Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President, Political Affairs

August 6, 2020
Shira Langer, (202) 572-3254,, 


“Systemic racism and environmental injustice in this country has meant that power plants, incinerators, factories and other toxic facilities are often built next to Black and brown communities, leaving these communities to bear the brunt of air pollution and toxic exposure. EDF is proud to support the Climate Equity Act, a powerful piece of legislation introduced today by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY-14) that seeks to dismantle these long standing environmental injustices by establishing a robust and much-needed framework for incorporating environmental justice and equity in government decision making, including increased transparency and meaningful stakeholder participation.

“The Climate Equity Act is the latest evidence of an increasing focus on environmental justice in Congress, especially on remedying the cumulative burden of pollution on communities of color. Just last week Senators Harris, Duckworth and Booker introduced the EJ for All Act in the Senate, an important bill originally introduced by Reps. McEachin and Grijalva in the House, that provides critical tools to help impacted communities. The bill provides a mechanism for these communities to meaningfully engage in government decision-making processes, and resources to help support a fair and just transition to a clean energy economy. Other recent Congressional efforts focusing on environmental justice include: Environmental justice provisions in the recent report from the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, the Environmental Justice Act of 2019 (introduced in the House by Congressman Ruiz and introduced in the Senate by Senator Booker), the EJ COVID-19 Act within the HEROES Act and the Economic Justice Act.”Thank you to the many environmental justice organizations and Congressional leaders driving these efforts. We are committed to working with you to ensure Congress passes ambitious environmental justice legislation that protects and benefits communities on the front lines of pollution and the climate crisis.

“In supporting these efforts, we also acknowledge that environmental organizations, including EDF, need to actively work to break down the systemic racism and other barriers harming Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). We understand we have a lot more work, both within our organization and externally in our priorities and partnerships, to bring sustained support to equity and justice efforts and to the many organizations on the front lines of the fight.”

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