FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2019
WE ACT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE RESPONDS TO GREEN NEW DEAL RESOLUTION
Positive Step But Absence Of Timelines Identified As Hurdle To Equity, Justice For Frontline, Vulnerable And Indigenous Peoples
WASHINGTON, DC – Today Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) released a congressional resolution in support of a Green New Deal. WE ACT for Environmental Justice Deputy Director and Director of Policy Initiatives Cecil Corbin-Mark issued the following statement:
“WE ACT acknowledges Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for their leadership in shifting the politics of how climate policy is shaped at the federal level. Their recognition of the importance of the role of those working on the frontline of environmental and climate justice in drafting the Green New Deal is to be supported and applauded.
We are encouraged to see frontline, vulnerable communities and indigenous Peoples reflected in the aspirations of this resolution. For more than 30 years, we have led in the mobilization of people of color and/or low incomes in building healthy communities in the myriad of ways reflected in this congressional resolution. WE ACT has forged our very own Green New Deal on the ground in Harlem and El Barrio with our Solar Uptown Now (SUN) campaign – which put 270 kilowatts of renewable energy on the roofs of affordable housing buildings in our communities and contributed to employment, lower energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. SUN demonstrates that a Green New Deal can provide a just transition to renewable energy that combats climate change, reduces pollution, lowers energy costs, and supports a “green” economy.
We must also acknowledge that while the Green New Deal is a positive step forward, it has challenges that include the omission of a timeline for ending our dependence on fossil fuels – which disproportionately pollute the air, water and soil where frontline, vulnerable and indigenous Peoples live, work and play. In addition, the resolution, through its language, appears to flirt with technological carbon sequestration methods that are unproven at the scale of the problem.
Our goal is to continue to work with Sen. Markey, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress to responsibly achieve the aims of the Green New Deal and move away from a fossil fuels base while addressing questions of economic equity, racial justice and democratic process.”
# # #
WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.