Report analyzes energy equity in Western states’ climate policy
A national report on Wednesday laid out a path for environmental justice in New Mexico that avoids the potential disconnects between energy equity and climate policy.
To better understand the potential for climate policies to incorporate equity, researchers at PSE Healthy Energy examined decarbonization policies across three states: Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico, and outlined strategies for integrating equity into state and federal decarbonization policies.
“New Mexico is faced with the imperative to implement policies that combat climate change while ensuring that low- to moderate-income communities of color do not continue to shoulder the burden of related economic and health impacts,” said James Povijua, Policy Director for the Center for Civic Policy. “This report lays bare the disproportionate impacts of climate change that many low- and moderate-income communities of color experience and will likely experience, if we don’t implement the right policy changes now.”
“We must address the concept of energy sacrifice zones and include frontline communities in conversations about policy-making decisions to reduce carbon emissions and find equitable solutions that work for everyone,” said Miya King-Flaherty, Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter. “This report reflects the fact that frontline communities have historically been saddled with the impacts of pollution and are the most vulnerable to climate change.”
Feature image – Photo from Wendell via Flickr