June 29, 2020

A Just Recovery in California


Wednesday July 1, 2020

Communities on the Front Lines of Climate Change Call for a Just Recovery

Sacramento, CA –This week, community leaders from Regenerate California issued the call for the recently formed Taskforce on Business and Jobs Recovery to pursue a truly Just Recovery for the state’s most impacted residents. 

Regenerate California, a coalition of frontline community-based organizations and environmental advocates, is calling for decision makers to redirect money away from polluting industries, and prioritize the deployment of clean energy resources to build economic resiliency and empower all residents to thrive. Regenerate California provides the following recommendations:

  1. Invest in clean energy services and infrastructure in Black, brown, and low-income communities, ensuring everyone access to a clean energy future.
  2. Begin planning for a phase-out of gas plants, with a priority on phasing them out of Black, brown, and low income communities where residents have statistically experienced higher rates of respiratory illness and lung cancer. 
  3. Implement Just Transition principles to transition the fossil fuel workforce to the clean energy economy in a way that is fair and equitable.
  4. Increase energy democracy and empower community-led decision-making. 

“Polluting industries, including the gas industry, should not be allowed to profit off of harm done to our communities, especially during a global pandemic. California needs to ensure that these industries pay their fair share in taxes, and plan for the retirement of gas. This will allow us to reinvest money and power into the areas that will help vulnerable Californians recover and thrive—utility and debt relief, clean energy, and local green jobs,” said Jose Torres, Energy Equity Program Manager for the California Environmental Justice Alliance

“California can’t afford to go back to normal. Normal wasn’t serving Californians and building a recovery around a system that puts its thumb on the scale for dirty, outdated technology would be a mistake. California’s path to recovery is a unique opportunity to set itself up for economic and environmental success. The Governor’s task force must set the stage for the state’s future by investing in clean energy projects that prioritize the communities that have been left behind for too long,” said Luis Amezcua, Senior Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club

“Going back to normal will result in more Californians succumbing to respiratory illness and cancer. Black and brown communities are making it clear that they want a Just Recovery from this global pandemic that will move to put an end to environmental injustice. Divesting from deadly fossil fuels and investing in clean energy will contribute to cleaning up the air in some of our state’s most polluted communities. The Governor’s task force must understand that a clean energy future is a pathway to providing frontline communities the economic, health, and racial justice they deserve,” said Anthony Victoria, Communications Director for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ).


About the Regenerate CA campaign

Regenerate California is a coalition of environmental and economic justice advocates led by the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), and the Sierra Club who, together, share a vision for California where we run on 100% clean renewable energy – ensuring our children grow up breathing clean air and the most impacted communities have access to renewable energy and local jobs. We have a vision to transition off of dirty and dangerous gas plants in California, and to create a regenerative and just clean energy economy.