On January 27th President Biden signed a series of Executive Orders on Climate Change. One was an Executive Order to protect 30% of US lands by 2030. Another was on Environmental Justice, directing all federal agencies to invest in “low income and communities of color”. This includes Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities that have borne the brunt of pollution impacts.
With Biden’s Executive Order, we must address long-standing inequities related to forest protection in the US.
Standing forests are vital to solving the climate crisis, providing natural flood control, and ensuring fresh, clean drinking water. Yet, the South is at the forefront of global wood production. Low income, communities of color across the rural Southern Black Belt are at the epicenter of our region’s industrial logging and wood production. They are also on the frontlines of climate change, having suffered devastating impacts from the extreme flooding of the past five years.
Reverend Leo Woodberry and I wrote a piece taking a deep dive on what the Biden administration can do to protect forests and address environmental injustice in the Southern US.
(Be sure to follow me on Medium while you’re there.)
Our key recommendations to ensure the Biden Administration acts to protect land and address these long-standing inequities are to commit to the following:
- Invest in forest protection in low income communities of color on the frontlines of industrial logging in the South
- Embrace the science documenting forest industry climate impacts
- Reject forest industry greenwashing
Dogwood Alliance works at the intersection of forest protection, climate change, and environmental justice. We believe that now is the time to address these long-standing crises. We’ll continue to work at the Federal level to ensure that our standing forests, local communities, and climate gain the protection and wins that they deserve.