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News Reports Highlight Role of Climate, Environmental Justice

As reported since President Joseph Biden assumed office in January 2021, climate change, environmental justice and climate justice are consistent themes in administration’s policymaking across a range of government departments. A few examples excerpted from reports are included below.

The Washington Post

March 22, 2021

  • The proposal includes funding for retrofitting buildings, safety improvements, and low-income and tribal groups, as well as $100 billion for schools and education infrastructure.
  • The plan also includes $200 billion for housing infrastructure, including $100 billion to expand the supply of housing for low-income Americans.


March 24, 2021

  • For the first time in federal policy, the President’s executive order on climate pairs leaking greenhouse gases with the creation of new jobs for energy workers and people who live in heavily polluted neighborhoods.
  • The order proposes to “create well-paying union jobs and more opportunities for women and people of color in hard-hit communities, including rural communities, while reducing methane emissions, oil and brine leaks, and other environmental harms from tens of thousands of former mining and well sites.”

E&E News 

March 31, 20201

  • Biden $621 billion infrastructure plan to redress “historic inequities.”
  • The Department of Transportation (DOT) convened its first equity task force meeting.”
  • DOT and other agencies are beginning to use tools that the administration is developing as part of Justice40 — Biden's proposal to allocate 40 percent of investments in clean energy, transit, and other climate-related funding to underrepresented communities.
  • The plan also identifies racial justice components for work on water systems and job creation.
  • The proposal calls for removing all lead pipes and service lines for drinking water. The President plans to highlight Pittsburgh's struggles with water contamination when unveiling the package.
  • Track how funding materializes in hot spots — places such as Cancer Alley in Louisiana; Institute, W.Va.; Manchester, Texas; Indigenous villages in Alaska; and the Black Belt region in the South.

Department of the Treasury release

April 19, 2021

  • Ensuring that environmental justice considerations feature centrally in programs, policies, and activities, given disproportionate that climate change has on disadvantaged communities.
  • Understanding and mitigating the risks that climate change poses to the stability of the U.S. and global financial system and economy.

P&I Online

April 22, 2021

  • President Biden’s climate finance executive order directs federal agencies to consider climate risks to the financial system and directs resources to developing countries to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.


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