Biden’s Justice40 initiative picking up speed after slow start

More than a year and a half after the Biden administration unveiled a sweeping commitment to bring opportunities and aid to disadvantaged communities, environmental justice advocates are calling on the White House to move faster with its implementation of its Justice40 Initiative.

Advocates fear some programs targeted in the initiative could be jeopardized if Democrats lose the White House in the 2024 presidential elections; and that some programs could be impacted even sooner if mid-term elections this November hand control of the House of Representatives to Republicans.

“My big hope is that the administration prioritizes and senses the urgency that we have to capture this opportunity to redirect investments,” said Ana Baptista, associate director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School in New York. Her research focuses on climate and environmental justice issues.

The Justice40 initiative, which President Joe Biden initiated through a January 2021 executive order, calls for delivering 40 percent of overall benefits of certain types of federal investments to disadvantaged communities around the country.