In response to the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement today (“Climate Day”) of new executive actions related to climate change, American Forests issued this statement from Jad Daley, its president and chief executive officer:
“The Biden-Harris Administration makes every day feel like ‘Climate Day’ for American Forests and other organizations that have long been working toward bold climate actions. The actions announced by the White House today complement actions last week that have great climate change significance, such as President Biden’s decision to have America rejoin the Paris Climate Accord.
“American Forests is especially grateful for two aspects of the Executive Order signed today that align with our goal to harness the power of America’s trees and forests to slow climate change and more equitably protect people from climate threats.
“First is a commitment to create a Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) that will advance reforestation and other restoration actions on public land by employing people who need these job opportunities most. American Forests helped to establish the original CCC in the 1930s. We know from our current partnerships to help reforest public land that a new CCC can generate a quick boost for natural climate solutions and our economy. Every $1 million invested in reforestation yields nearly 40 jobs, often in economically-distressed rural communities, and can help advance economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Second is a commitment to specific actions on environmental justice and climate justice. This includes the new Justice40 Initiative to ensure that federal investments are prioritized to socioeconomically disadvantaged communities bearing the brunt of pollution and climate threats, such as extreme heat that is exacerbated by the inequitable distribution of trees. American Forests has recently launched a new data-driven Tree Equity Score that can help the Justice40 Initiative by prioritizing federal investment in urban tree cover to underserved neighborhoods that most urgently need these life-saving environmental benefits.
“American Forests is ready and qualified to help bring these commendable federal commitments to life. We know from our leadership to rally diverse partners for the U.S. Chapter of 1t.org and other forest coalitions that many others are as well. We look forward to partnering with the Biden-Harris Administration to make every day ‘Climate Day’ until we overcome this existential threat.”