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Ensuring Climate and Environmental Justice Through Federal Funding – Justice40 Initiatives

WHEREAS, The Black community and other frontline communities here in the United States have been disproportionately impacted by climate change – negatively affecting the health, economics, and well-being of men, women, and children; and

WHEREAS, The Biden Administration has made historic commitments to use every lever to advance environmental justice and spur economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities by establishing the Justice40 Initiative; and

WHEREAS, The Justice40 Initiative is a whole-of-government effort to ensure that Federal agencies work with states and local communities to make sure that President Biden fulfills his promise to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities; and

WHEREAS, The interim guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy establishes measures to guide agencies on their path to implementing Justice40, launches the Justice40 Pilot Program, and includes accountability and transparency tools to ensure agencies are working to reach the Justice40 goal.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, The NAACP will advocate for the realization of the Justice40 Initiative through all affected Federal Agencies.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will monitor and evaluate 21 pilot priority programs designed to enhance benefits for disadvantaged communities. These priority programs provide a blueprint for other agencies to help inform their work to implement the Justice40 Initiative across the government. This initial set of programs was selected following extensive consultation with environmental justice stakeholders and the recently established White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council. The programs include but are not limited to the:

  • Department of Homeland Security Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, which provides funding to states, local communities, tribes, and territories for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings; and
  • Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which provides funds to improve drinking water quality, prevent water contamination, and support water systems; and
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development Lead Hazard Reduction and Healthy Homes Grants, which assist states, local communities, tribes, and territories in identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards; and
  • Department of Agriculture Rural Energy for America Program, which provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will hold accountable all relevant Federal Agencies to follow the guidance of Justice40 to identify the benefits of programs beyond the initial pilot list to propose methods to calculate and report on reaching the 40-percent goal, and develop plans to engage with communities.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP will work to mobilize, train, and engage with partners and allies to ensure Black and disadvantaged communities are fully empowered to achieve environmental and climate justice with the direct support of Federal agencies through the Justice40 Initiative.