About two weeks ago, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) of New York and Senator Ed Markey (D) of Massachusetts presented a resolution for the Green New Deal. Among many other things, this plan aims to make the U.S. carbon neutral by 2030. According to the representatives, achieving the goals outlined in this deal will require lots of manpower as well as support from the federal government. Ultimately, programs from the Green New Deal will provide, in the most equitable way, both societal and financial benefits to those who make the switch to clean energy. While some might argue that all efforts should be towards optimizing resources fully for reductions in greenhouse gas emission, it is important to ensure that this plan is delivered with the intention of benefiting all communities.
Studies show that there is a significant racial disparity when it comes to clean energy access. According to census data, areas with over 50% Black or Hispanic populations receive significantly less domestic solar panel installations than white-majority areas. Past research has attributed this to differences in income and homeownership by race and ethnicity. A recent study has shown that this disparity remains even when accounting for these differences.
Researchers are still trying to figure out the relationship between race and ethnicity and clean energy adoption. Much discourse surrounds the ideas of seeding and social proof. Basically, if someone in your community has solar or takes advantage of local clean energy resources, like the Mass Save energy audit program, then you are more likely to do the same. The idea is that everyone’s doing it, so you should to.
All In Energy works to bridge this gap and bring clean energy to underserved communities. We’ve joined forces with our community partners to raise awareness of Massachusetts’ clean energy programs and ensure that residents of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan are accessing benefits that they’re already paying for. We’re striving to bring energy savings to underserved communities while growing diversity in the clean energy workforce.
We’re excited about the Green New Deal and the potential it has to benefit all residents. It is our hope that an adequate amount of attention and resources are spent to ensure that underserved communities, specifically communities of color, benefit from these programs.
Read the Green New Deal here.
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