Climate 411

Stronger Standards, Better Monitoring Will Protect Communities from Toxic Pollution

(This post was co-authored by EDF analyst Jolie Villegas)

The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent updates of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards include several steps that provide substantial public health benefits by reducing toxic air pollution from coal plants.

In our last blog post we wrote about one of those steps – closing the “lignite loophole” that allows power plants that burn lignite coal to avoid commonsense pollution limits that protect people’s health and safety.

There’s a second step that EPA took in updating the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards – requiring coal-fired power plants to use a Continuous Emissions Monitoring System so that people and communities are protected from dangerous pollution 365 days a year.

And as a third step to protect communities from harmful exposures, the updated Mercury and Air Toxics Standards meaningfully strengthen limits for hazardous metal emissions.

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Also posted in Health, News, Policy / Comments are closed

Charting the path to equity: unveiling new Just Transition and Safeguards Framework

Reskilling and training workers for a clean energy future. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

By Mandy Rambharos, Vice President, Global Climate Cooperation  

As the world moves towards greener, low-carbon futures, it’s imperative that no one is left behind – including those working in fossil fuel industries and the communities they support. 

A new report from Environmental Defense Fund, ‘Just Transition and Safeguards Framework offers a roadmap for countries and energy companies alike to successfully navigate the complexities of transitioning to clean energy while ensuring fairness and equity at every step of the way. 

Guidance from this framework outlines how to empower local stakeholders – from frontline communities to Indigenous Peoples – ensuring everyone has a seat at the table and a fair share in the benefits of this monumental shift. 

The concept of a ‘just transition’ isn’t new by any means. It was first developed by North American trade unions and environmental justice advocates and has since become a global call to action. As this big idea – which is simultaneously inspiring, ambiguous, and vast in scope – spreads across the world, it must adapt to local challenges, economic realities, and social norms.  

While a just transition will (and should) look different from West Virginia to South Africa, EDF’s framework aims to help decision-makers understand the principles that should be core to every just transition plan – removing the ambiguity and providing clear waypoints toward true climate justice.  

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Also posted in Energy, Jobs / Comments are closed