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Climate change solutions can serve social needs

Written by: Mital Hall

Ever-increasing numbers of weather and climate disasters have brought tragedy all too often. In 2020 alone, no fewer than 262 lives were lost. Property damages exceeded $95 billion. Each of those 22 disasters claimed or impacted lives while disrupting business and commerce.[1]

Low-wealth communities were hardest hit by storms, floods, and fires. Those same cities and towns have had the greatest need for clean energy investment.

A federal initiative

The Justice40 Initiative, announced in January 2021[2] seeks solutions that will address social needs while slowing the advance of climate change. Its goal allocates 40% of sustainability investments to serve disadvantaged communities. Among other projects, the initiative will target energy efficiency and bring renewable power to homes, businesses, and transit. Clean water infrastructure will be funded. Pollution will be remediated.

State solutions

In several states, climate change initiatives also address social needs. New York places 40% of its climate investments in communities having significant social needs. At least 35% of revenues from California’s carbon cap-and-trade program serves disadvantaged communities. Three other New England states have made similar commitments.[3]

Climate change action isn’t limited to government. International corporations invest in clean energy technologies as business opportunities and business imperatives.

  • Within 20 years, all cars from General Motors and Ford may be electric-powered.
  • Nike will power its U.S. operations with renewable energy, exclusively.
  • Microsoft has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.


[3] — Energy and Environmental (E&E) News