During this Climate Leaders Live webinar, we had a few reasons to celebrate: 2021 was our biggest year yet for climate action in Washington State. We're quietly leading the way to reduce transportation emissions with the Clean Fuel Standard, be only the second state to put an economy-wide cap on climate pollution with the Climate Commitment Act, and enshrining environmental justice into law with the HEAL Act.
But this session was about more than climate and we heard from Paula Sardinas, founding presidency of the Washington Build Back Black Alliance on some of the 12 criminal justice bills signed into law by Gov. Inslee this year. We were also joined by David Mendoza with The Nature Conservancy, and one of the core leaders in the effort to pass the HEAL Act.
Our favorite moment? Paula's reflections on the intersections of climate policy and what it means to center environmental justice. "We looked at all of the environmental justice policies through the lens of health care disparities because there’s a correlation…between asthma respiratory diseases and the air we breathe…. [2021’s] groundbreaking policy in Washington state, [like] the environmental justice package which contained the HEAL Act, Climate Commitment Act, and Clean Fuel Standard, bills that we knew would not only clean the air and give us a pathway to having good climate policy, but also help reduce some of the health care disparities we’ve been battling for years within the black and brown communities."
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