“We’ll create good jobs for millions of Americans…and we’ll do it all to withstand the devastating effects of climate change and promote environmental justice.”
— PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, 2022 STATE OF THE UNION
Today, as we reflect on the ways American presidents have transformed our nation, we also look to the work being done right now to better serve communities and right past wrongs. Through President Joe Biden’s Justice40 initiative, the Biden-Harris Administration is actively working to dismantle unjust systems that disproportionately harm Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities by delivering historic clean energy investments to underserved and overburdened communities.
Communities of color have long suffered from the negative environmental outcomes of industrialization, infrastructure, and energy policies.
According to a 2017 report from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Clean Air Task Force, Black Americans are 75 percent more likely to live near and be directly impacted by a company, industrial, or service facility. Moreover, the Princeton Student Climate Initiative found that people of color are more likely to die from environmental causes and are more likely to live near hazardous waste.
Acute underinvestment in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities and the absence of clean energy innovations has only exacerbated the negative health impacts community members experience.
What is the Justice40 Initiative?
Thanks to President Biden, the Federal government has — for the first time in our nation’s history — made it a goal to ensure 40 percent of overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Federal programs will ensure that disadvantaged communities receive the benefits of new and existing Federal investments in these categories: clean energy, clean transit, affordable housing, workforce development, pollution reduction, and water infrastructure.
Justice40 ensures that the Federal government is making long-term and sustainable investments that are equitably distributed.
Justice40 Programs at the Department of Energy:
The Department of Energy has announced more than 140 programs to support the Justice40 initiative, including research and development projects, grant programs, and efforts to increase energy efficiency in American homes.
One related program is the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, which provides Federal grants to states, local, and Tribal governments to assist in the implementation of strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions and energy consumption, while improving energy efficiency.
The Weatherization Assistance Program is also a Justice40 program that aims to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income individuals to reduce their total energy costs and improve their health and safety.
Each of these programs and their associated benefits and operations are working to correct generations of burden placed on disadvantaged communities.
Through Justice40, the Biden-Harris Administration and the Department of Energy are committed to making certain the needs of underserved and overburdened communities are met, and that all communities reap the benefits of our clean energy future.
Learn more at energy.gov/Justice40.