Centering justice, equity and inclusion in our work
“From climate adaptation and the promise of clean energy to legacy pollution clean-up and clean water infrastructure, it is imperative that the Biden-Harris administration’s significant investments benefit historically disadvantaged communities, who for too long have borne the brunt of the climate crisis.”
— Secretary Deb Haaland
Communities of color, rural and Indigenous communities, low-income families, and people in the U.S. territories have long suffered disproportionate and cumulative harm from the climate crisis, from air and water pollution to environmental hazards left behind at toxic sites.
As we acknowledge that reality, the Biden-Harris administration has mobilized an all-of-government approach to advance environmental justice. As directed in Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, the Department of the Interior has partnered with agencies across the federal government to develop a strategy to address current and historic environmental injustices and ensure accountability.
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is delivering historic resources to make communities more resilient to climate change. Combined, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act represent the largest investments in climate resilience in the nation’s history and provide unprecedented resources to support the Administration’s comprehensive approach.
The Department is in a new era as we develop programs, policies and activities that address long-standing environmental injustices and ensure that historically marginalized communities have greater input on and receive enhanced benefits from federal policies and decisions. Some efforts include:
The Department of the Interior will continue to play a central role in how the United States stewards its public lands, increases environmental protections, pursues environmental justice, and honors our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes.
We have no time to waste in taking action to protect public lands, the environment, and Americans’ lives and futures. Interior will continue to take the bold action desperately needed to ensure all communities — including communities of color and urban, rural, and Indigenous communities — benefit from an aggressive and whole-of-government response to advancing environmental justice.