Securing Climate Justice Federally: A Political Economy Approach to Targeted Investments

Cohen, Daniel Aldana, J. Mijin Cha, Nick Graetz, Aaryaman “Sunny” Singhal, Raka Sen. 2022. Securing Climate Justice Federally:A Political Economy Approach to Targeted Investments. Environmental Justice. Online first. DOI: 10.1089/env.2022.0047.

16 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2022 Last revised: 11 Nov 2022

See all articles by Daniel Aldana Cohen

Daniel Aldana Cohen

Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley; Director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative

J. Mijin Cha

Occidental College

Nick Graetz

University of Pennsylvania - Population Studies Center

Aaryaman Singhal

University of California, Berkeley

Raka Sen

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Sociology

Date Written: October 10, 2022

Abstract

How can the federal Justice40 policy framework tackle climate change and social inequalities at the same time and in the same places? We adopt a political economy approach. We situate environmental injustice in the context of longstanding, racist patterns of public-private investments in the United States, especially in housing, through practices like redlining, transportation, and industrial development. We argue that any policy approach aiming to eliminate environmental racism needs to take on public-private investment patterns at comparable scale. And building on our recent research into New York State’s own efforts to build on the lessons of California’s experience of targeted green investments, and our survey of reports on the Justice40, we make five broad recommendations to federal policymakers: (1) we argue that the Justice40 mandate should apply to a far broader range of public-private investments than currently planned (and thus allocate tens of billions of dollars annually); (2) we urge the federal government not to use the California model of a unilinear scale, and to adopt New York’s proposal to count all low-income individuals as eligible for disproportionate investments in green home improvements; (3) we recommend that the federal government (or state governments) take equity stakes in offshore wind, with revenues being reinvested based on the Justice40 formula; (4) we argue that the federal government must fund community groups’ governance capacity so that they can exert meaningful control over local investments; and (5) we call for embedding Justice40 in an overarching framework of green, high road economic development.

PUBLISHED ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE OPEN ACCESS HERE: Cohen, Daniel Aldana, J. Mijin Cha, Nick Graetz, Aaryaman “Sunny” Singhal, Raka Sen. 2022. Securing Climate Justice Federally: A Political Economy Approach to Targeted Investments. Environmental Justice. Online first. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/env.2022.0047

Keywords: environmental justice, political economy, climate change, social policy, Justice40

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Daniel Aldana and Cha, J. Mijin and Graetz, Nick and Singhal, Aaryaman and Sen, Raka, Securing Climate Justice Federally: A Political Economy Approach to Targeted Investments (October 10, 2022). Cohen, Daniel Aldana, J. Mijin Cha, Nick Graetz, Aaryaman “Sunny” Singhal, Raka Sen. 2022. Securing Climate Justice Federally:A Political Economy Approach to Targeted Investments. Environmental Justice. Online first. DOI: 10.1089/env.2022.0047., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4244325

Daniel Aldana Cohen (Contact Author)

Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley; Director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative ( email )

410 Social Science Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.aldanacohen.com

J. Mijin Cha

Occidental College ( email )

Nick Graetz

University of Pennsylvania - Population Studies Center ( email )

PA
United States

Aaryaman Singhal

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

Raka Sen

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Sociology ( email )

3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States

HOME PAGE: http://rakasen.com

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