RELEASED: New Report!

Field Notes: Equity and State Climate Policy

By Jeanne Herb and Marjorie Kaplan, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey | September 2019


States are leading efforts to address climate change in new and innovative ways. As part of these efforts, states recognize the adverse impact that climate change has on disadvantaged populations, and the need to integrate equity considerations into climate change and clean energy policies.

Image Credit: Jessica Kourhounis/Getty Images

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On September 5th, 2019, experts at Rutgers University released Field Notes: Equity and State Climate Policy, an independent study based on more than 70 interviews with state officials, stakeholders and advocates. Led by Jeanne Herb and Marjorie Kaplan of Rutgers, this report takes an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities faced by states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) region to direct program benefits to disadvantaged communities and individuals in equitable ways. This independent study, part of the RGGI Project Series, provides a comprehensive review of initiatives underway in the states participating in RGGI (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, MD and DE), NJ and VA as well as two states (CA and IL) and two cities (Austin, TX and Columbus, OH) outside the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. 

The report finds the states in an active “period of innovation”, trying pilots and new approaches to address this intersection of equity and state climate policy, from which best practices will emerge. The study also includes perspectives from many equity, environmental justice and environmental leaders on state policies and practices that enhance participation and benefits for disadvantaged communities and households. The report provides a valuable resource for the states and stakeholders to learn from each other, as they continue to advance equity and climate progress.

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