Aug. 9, 2021 by Alina Gonzalez

How Big of a Deal Is Biden's Justice40 Initiative?

In his first week of office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order, "Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad," that responds to climate change with an emphasis on environmental justice. Notably, the order creates a government-wide "Justice40 initiative," which sets a goal for disadvantaged communities most impacted by climate change and pollution to receive at least 40 percent of overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy.

In attempts to provide key foundational principles for the initiative, the White House recently released a draft guidance document that details how federal agencies should advance the programs covered by the Justice40 Initiative. While the interim guidance provides some direction for the scope of the initiative, the commitment to direct 40 percent of spending to disadvantaged communities is not so straightforward.

The hope of Justice40 is that frontline communities, the ones most burdened by climate change and fossil fuel production, will directly benefit from funds that are meant to improve programs and policies in their communities. But advocates and policymakers will need to be vigilant to ensure the Justice40 initiative doesn't become another repeat of history caused by the government's failure to follow through on its …

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Aug. 9, 2021

How Big of a Deal Is Biden's Justice40 Initiative?