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Columbia Energy Exchange

Columbia Energy Exchange features in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia and civil society. The program explores today’s most pressing opportunities and challenges across energy sources, financial markets, geopolitics and climate change as well as their implications for both the U.S. and the world.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jan 30, 2024

Within days of taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to create the Justice40 Initiative. The policy aims to allocate 40% of the benefits of federal clean energy and climate investments to frontline communities. 

For the energy sector, it’s helping to shine a growing light on  “energy justice.” Historically, the current energy system has negatively impacted disadvantaged communities the most – communities that often lack access to affordable energy, are excluded from potential benefits of a clean energy economy, and suffer the greatest harms from climate change. The Energy Opportunity Lab at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs is working to address these challenges, among many others. 

So, what progress has been made in ensuring energy justice for frontline communities? And with the energy transition continuing to accelerate in size and scale, how do we make sure disadvantaged communities aren’t left behind?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Shalanda Baker about the historical inequities of energy systems, and the Biden administration’s agenda on energy equity and climate justice.

Shalanda is the director of the Office of Energy Justice and Equity in the U.S. Department of Energy, and the secretarial advisor on equity. She also serves as chief diversity officer for the agency. Prior to her Senate confirmation in 2022, Shalanda served as the nation’s first-ever deputy director for energy justice. Before joining the Biden administration, she co-founded and co-directed the Initiative for Energy Justice, which provides technical law and policy support to communities on the front lines of climate change.

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