Advancing Equity through 100% Clean Energy: A Review of the Plans of 12 States

Charles Hua | Clean Energy States Alliance

Twenty-one states plus DC and Puerto Rico have set goals through legislation or executive orders to achieve 100% clean energy. The majority of Americans live in a state with such a goal. In an encouraging trend, states are giving increasing attention to equity and environmental justice in their 100% clean energy plans. These actions are particularly important, because low-income populations, communities of color, and other historically marginalized groups have suffered the greatest burdens from climate change yet have historically received the least investment in climate solutions.

This report documents state actions to advance environmental justice by reviewing the 100% clean energy plans of the 12 US states with published plans. The report analyzes these plans through an equity and environmental justice lens. The paper outlines how the different states view the equity implications of climate impacts, and what they are proposing for mitigation solutions, planning processes, and implementation processes. It identifies common themes and best practices, and it presents a selection of relevant case studies and examples.

The report finds that state equity-focused actions include establishing definitions of environmental justice, targeting investments and programs based on race and income, and creating new governance structures and stakeholder engagement processes. However, opportunities for improvement remain.

“This report will make it easier for state policymakers and other stakeholders to see different ways in which equity and environmental justice can be addressed as states formulate strategies for moving towards 100% clean energy,” said CESA Executive Director Warren Leon.

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Date: February 8, 2023
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