STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Lauren H. Carson to help ensure the implementation of environmental justice provisions of the Act on Climate, the landmark environmental legislation she sponsored last year.
The legislation (2022-H 7611A), which now goes to the Senate, adds an environmental justice advocate to the membership of the Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (ECCC) Advisory Board, which was established under the Act on Climate to support the ECCC in its responsibilities for implementation of the act.
“The Act on Climate identifies environmental justice as a key consideration for our state as we reduce our carbon impacts. We have to make sure that the communities that have been hurt the most by pollution and environmental degradation are made as whole as possible and have real opportunities to benefit from the expansion of the green economy in Rhode Island,” said Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport). “We gave the ECCC major responsibilities for accomplishing the targets in Act on Climate. This bill ensures there’s a person advising them on all the issues relating to environmental justice.”
Under the Act on Climate, the ECCC is required to update the state’s plan for carbon reduction every five years, and include in it measures to provide for an equitable transition that addresses environmental injustices and public health inequities, as well as supports to ensure strong and fair employment as fossil-fuel industry jobs are replaced by green energy jobs.