Campaign Launched to Incorporate Climate Justice Mandates in the New England Cap and Trade Program

Posted July 13, 2016

MP3 Interview with Katelyn Parady, communications director with the Toxics Action Center, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

climate

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, also known by its acronym, RGGI, includes all the New England states plus New York, Maryland and Delaware, in a cap and trade program to reduce carbon emissions regionwide and raise money from the sale of pollution permits to fund green energy projects. The idea is that the cap on allowable emissions progressively decreases, thus reducing pollution.

But critics say the problem with this and similar cap and trade programs is those very pollution permits, which allow companies to continue pouring both climate and ground-level pollution into the air, are mostly located in communities that are already heavily burdened by such pollution – and often low-income communities of color. Now an organization wants to use the program review process of RGGI to push for including protections for these communities, and to prioritize the funds raised to clean up the worst pollution, giving these communities a say in how the funds are spent.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Katelyn Parady, communications director with the group Toxics Action Center, who explains how a coalition of groups is working to make sure these climate justice initiatives are incorporated into the RGGI process going forward.

Learn more about the effort to incorporate climate justice reforms into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative at rggi.org and toxicsaction.org.

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