Ceres Welcomes the Introduction of the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act

Mar 22, 2023 12:25 PM ET
Capitol Hill

March 22, 2023 /3BL Media/ - Ceres urges Congress to pass the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act to establish a clear, comprehensive, and practical framework that protects overburdened communities from pollution and helps workers transition into a thriving clean energy economy.

“As America’s public and private sectors continue to invest in building an advanced, affordable clean-energy economy, the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act is critical to ensuring all U.S. communities benefit from this generational shift,” said Zach Friedman, director of federal policy, Ceres.

Introduced today and named for the late congressman who championed environmental justice and climate action on Capitol Hill, the bill features several critical regulatory and statutory reforms, as well as funding to bolster environmental justice programs and jobs training to ensure workers are not left behind in the shift to a cleaner economy. Developed with broad-based community input, it takes care to balance the needs of communities, public health, and the economy.

“The U.S. is long overdue for this level of ambitious environmental justice action. Ceres calls on Congress to advance the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act to ensure businesses, investors, and other stakeholders have a clear and predictable framework as we move to address long-standing environmental harm in marginalized communities. This legislation would positively impact the U.S. economy by improving public health, preventing future costly environmental cleanups, and investing in a fund to ensure fossil fuel workers are not left behind in the clean energy transition. These principles are critical to building a clean economy that works for all of America, and they must also be upheld as Congress considers permitting reform in the coming months,” Friedman added.

Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit that works with leading companies and investors on sustainability practices and policies, joined with Earthjustice and other sustainability and environmental justice organizations in a joint letter supporting the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act. Ceres federal policy team staff were present at the bill’s introductory press conference today, and the organization intends to actively advocate for its measures during the current Congress.

In recent years, Ceres has bolstered corporate support for environmental justice policy by educating and engaging companies about the disproportionate racial and socioeconomic impacts of pollution, building a private-sector framework to support environmental justice policy, emphasizing that the business benefits of climate action also benefit overburdened communities, and working to ensure that all workers and communities can participate in the advanced clean-energy economy that companies and investors support. Among its efforts, Ceres has:

  • Called for the California Air Resource Board’s 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan to be highly attentive to the needs of environmental justice communities and supported the creation of an Office of Racial Equity in the California government;
  • Provided detailed written comments informed by both environmental justice and investor partners to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure the Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund meets key environmental justice needs, such as partnering with local financial institutions embedded in their communities and supporting economic empowerment of low-income and disadvantaged communities.
  • Urged stronger EPA standards for pollution from fine particulate matter, which disproportionately harms people of color and those of lower incomes.

About Ceres

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.