Green 2.0, a watchdog organization advocating for diversity in the environmental sector, in late February convened a panel of Black environmental justice leaders to discuss what it will take to move the needle on climate justice.

In the absence of significant political progress on environmental justice issues in recent years, the business community has forged ahead with new solutions. The Cooperative Action Fund, launched by REI, and the B Corp Climate Justice Learning Task Force stand out as long-term efforts to support the BIPOC communities hit hardest by environmental issues.

However, missing from these and other endeavors is the decision-making power that frontline communities often lack. The environmental movement has historically excluded the voices of Black leaders, even as proposed policies affect their livelihoods and communities. Today, many are still advocating for an inclusive environmental movement that prioritizes funding, opportunities and justice for Black communities.

Activist Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., who opened the panel, believes that solving the climate crisis requires Black, Indigenous, women of color (BIWOC) leaders at the helm. "This is our lunch counter moment," he said, referring to the landmark lunch counter sit-ins that turned the tide of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

The bold action needed to transition to a clean energy economy, improve air quality and restore our lands and waters should be informed by the experience of those most affected. So what should business leaders know as they tackle climate justice?

  • Commit to internal progress on JEDI
  • Make grantmaking processes more equitable
  • Partner with frontline communities

Read the full article about advancing climate justice by Paige Curtis at GreenBiz.