Says Action Would Not Have Come Without Persistent Advocacy from Frontline Communities, Environmental Justice Movement as They Continue to Push for Coherent Climate Policy & an End to Fossil Fuels
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, President Biden signs the Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, an executive order strengthening and expanding interagency coordination around environmental justice.
In reaction to the announcement, Ozawa Bineshi Albert, Co-Executive Director at the Climate Justice Alliance, a national nonprofit representing 89 rural and urban community-based environmental justice organizations and supporting networks, issued the following statement:
“Today’s executive order is the result of nearly two decades of organizing by the environmental justice movement. From the original Environmental Justice Executive Order declared under President Clinton in 1994, we have come a long way thanks to frontline organizing power! This win belongs to our communities who have been on the frontlines of the climate crisis, creating solutions, building local power, and engaging lawmakers for decades.
President Biden’s new executive order expands environmental justice decision-making processes to all federal agencies, embedding environmental justice considerations into future planning and development.
For too long, these considerations were seen as something that should fall under the purview of the Environmental Protection Agency or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) but now environmental justice must be a concern for all.
However, as we celebrate today’s victory, we must also recognize that Biden has come to be known worldwide as the fossil fuel president, having approved more drilling projects on federal land than Trump during their first two years in office. The recent approval of harmful, extractive drilling leases such as the Willow Project in Alaska, in the Gulf and the LNG pipeline, demonstrate the need for coherent and aligned policies that move us toward a truly Just Transition, not an expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.
We will continue to ensure that this step forward isn’t just performative. The new office of environmental justice must ensure strong, consistent procedures are implemented across agencies moving forward.
Our communities will continue to organize to stop false solutions, support regenerative economic solutions, and ensure that justice and equity are codified and implemented at the rate and speed needed to meet the moment.”
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