Frontline Communities on Climate Action Step One is Stop the Harm / Public Information Service

SEATTLE, Washington – Communities facing the impacts of climate change in Washington State are closely monitoring legislation in Washington, DC. People on the front lines of climate change are largely made up of communities of color, low-income communities and indigenous peoples.

Deric Gruen, co-executive director of Front and Centered, a coalition of Washington state groups, said communities should be considered first as Congress works out details on climate action.

“We have to maintain the energy level,” Gruen insisted. “Keep the focus on the communities most impacted as indicators and those who will be the first and able to judge what is effective and fair, and continue to double our intention in our approach to effectiveness.”

Gruen argued that community-wide investments, such as solar projects for low-income communities, are essential to ensure that people on the frontlines benefit the most from climate action.

The Build Back Better Act framework currently includes $ 550 billion to reduce the country’s emissions and could be passed next week.

Gruen said it is unfortunate that the clean electricity payment program, which would have created incentives for utility companies to switch to clean energy, has been removed from the Build Back Better Act. Last week, Congress passed a $ 1 trillion infrastructure package.

Gruen is concerned about the emphasis on roads and highways.

“The first step is to stop the evil,” said Gruen. “We can’t keep investing in things like expanding freeways and expecting our emissions to go down. We can’t keep investing in old infrastructure and buildings that aren’t built to Canadian standards. highest performance. “

Gruen added that it is important that the transition to a cleaner economy does not come on the backs of low-income households.

“We need a transition that is fair and truly focused on a real look to the future to come and on building and investing in a future that looks different from what it is today,” said Gruen points out. “And accept that we will have to make some tough choices.”

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