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Climate Change

Applauding Environmental Protection Agency's implementation of President Biden’s environmental justice initiative

APA urges the EPA to incorporate psychological science in its work to reduce climate change and the environmental health impacts affecting disadvantaged communities.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, December 2). Applauding Environmental Protection Agency's implementation of President Biden’s environmental justice initiative.

Woman wrangling sheep

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Environmental Justice hosted a webinar on November 30 to update stakeholders on its work related to implementation of President Biden’s Executive Order 14008 on addressing the climate crisis, including the order’s “Justice 40” initiative (section 223). This initiative tasks federal agencies with directing to disadvantaged communities 40% of overall investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, clean transit, affordable and sustainable housing, training and workforce development, remediation and reduction of legacy pollution, and development of clean water infrastructure. 

The November 30 webinar was part of EPA’s Environmental Justice Webinar Series for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples, to build the capacity of tribal governments, Indigenous peoples and others engaged in environmental justice work, and to discuss priority environmental justice issues of interest to tribes and Indigenous peoples.

Climate change and pollution stemming from existing energy systems have multiple adverse effects on the physical and mental health and well-being of people in disadvantaged communities. In June, APA’s deputy chief executive officer, Jim Diaz-Granados, PhD, joined with representatives of other health organizations to meet with EPA administrator Michael Regan to discuss the health impacts of the agency’s work. Subsequently, APA wrote to Regan (PDF, 85KB) to reiterate the importance of incorporating psychological science into the agency’s work.

As described in a recent new report from APA and ecoAmerica, climate change is taking a significant toll on the mental health of people around the world. APA is working to raise awareness of these impacts, and the critical importance of responding effectively to climate change.

For more information, contact Joseph Keller.