The benefits of a clean energy future are countless: better health, cleaner air, safer homes, jobs and economic vitality, to name a few. Yet oftentimes these core benefits for people of the Northeast gets lost in the din of technical requirements, detailed regulations, and legislative jargon. These are all extremely important, but they can cloud the human value of lower emissions, and greater electrification of our homes, cars and businesses. Perhaps most disturbing, the voices of our neighbors who are most directly and negatively impacted by the climate crisis fueled by extractions and use of fossil fuels, have been simply drowned out.
To fully live Acadia Center’s mission, we must continue to strongly encourage diverse voices to be heard. For example, the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) must be equitable and include strong safeguards and guarantees that directly and tangibly benefit over-burdened and underserved communities, including significant program investments for these communities. In addition, TCI insists that representatives from these neighborhoods have a majority presence in state’s Equity Advisory Bodies and have clear decision-making roles.
We know that building heating, cooling and lighting still produce over a third of all emissions in the Northeast – and most poorer quality housing remains untreated in energy efficient updates, damaging the health of residents, often those who live in low income communities. Acadia Center’s Next Generation Energy Efficiency Initiative is intended to improve the level of energy efficiency investments in our most vulnerable areas. How? By refocusing our work with state energy efficiency programs on substandard buildings that leak greenhouse gases and pose serious indoor air quality and safety risks to their residents.