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The connection between clean energy and public health cannot be overstated

For far too long, predominantly minority and low-income communities throughout New Jersey have been unjustly burdened with a high concentration of air pollution.


By Kim Gaddy


Opinion - Published in NJ.com - December 14, 2022


For far too long, predominantly Black and brown and low-income communities throughout New Jersey have been unjustly burdened with a high concentration of air pollution. As a mother of a child with asmtha, I'm acutely aware of the correlation between air pollution from fossil fuels and the health of my community. These communities rightfully demand a seat at the  table when decisions are made affecting their health and economic well being.


Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration released a Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future report and 12-month action plan outlining steps to promote business opportunities, uplift communities and create well-paying jobs as part of a clean energy economy. Major areas of job growth are projected to include energy efficiency, solar installation and offshore wind manufacturing. As a member of the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy who worked on the report, I’ve stressed that overburdened communities long denied environmental justice must be prioritized to ensure their residents have fair and accessible opportunities to enter these new jobs.


The administration’s recent available funding announcement of $8 million for pilot projects designed to support residents seeking to enter the green workforce is certainly a step in the right direction. If we’re not intentional about including Black, brown, and low-income communities, we will exacerbate current inequities, wealth gaps and trend lines of an energy workforce that is generally white and male. We cannot afford to leave anyone behind.




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