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Perspectives from Environmental Justice Communities: A National Survey

July 11, 2023 Category: Climate

As part of the Climate Equity and Clean Energy Transition Initiative, Clean Air Task Force (CATF) commissioned BW Research Partnership to conduct a national survey of residents of environmental justice communities, based on self-declared race, ethnicity, and income. We used these socioeconomic indicators to select environmental justice communities because research has shown a strong correlation among race and ethnicity, household income, and Environmental Justice. For the purposes of this report, “environmental justice communities” refers to populations disproportionately impacted by environmental harms due to structural inequities related to their race, income, pollution burdens, and/or additional factors.

The research presented is meant to be additive to the existing literature and body of work on environmental justice and climate equity. It is not meant to be a comprehensive or exhaustive look at the intersection between demographics, environmental outcomes, and economic opportunity. This report is an applied research effort, which differs from the academic research space.

The purpose of this national survey and report was to gain greater understanding of community perceptions regarding environmental justice and climate equity issues.

The survey was designed with the following research objectives:

  1. Identify community awareness, perceptions, and concerns about environmental and health impacts of pollution and traditional energy infrastructures.
  2. Gauge awareness of and interest in clean energy job opportunities, including specific technology awareness and participants’ perceptions of industry.
  3. Explore the frequency and types of social, community, and civic engagement in communities as well as perceived political influence and trust in local public and private agencies.
  4. Identify specific challenges to career advancement or barriers to clean energy job access.
  5. Understand energy accessibility.

Watch: This webinar launches the Climate Equity Initiative’s first publication, “Perspectives from Environmental Justice Communities: A National Survey,” and covers four thematic findings from the National Survey, including: environmental and health impacts; opportunity, awareness, and perceptions; civic engagement, trust, and information access accessibility (e.g., electricity prices, financial resources, education).