PUBLISHED IN NEWSWEEK   By Michael Shank and US Congressman Raul Grijalva As climate talks wrapped up at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Egypt this past month, the attending delegates agreed to make long-awaited history. For the first time, the United Nations adopted a pact to establish a “loss and damage” fund for developing nations that have borne the brunt of climate disasters over the years. The loss and damage fund is, at last, a formal and financial acknowledgement that richer, higher carbon-emitting nations, like the United States, have an obligation to compensate for the climate crisis

    PUBLISHED IN NEWSWEEK By Kesha Ram Hinsdale and US Congressman Raúl Grijalva Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) is chair of the House Natural Resources Committee. Kesha Ram Hinsdale is a Vermont State Senator. The Biden administration’s recent announcement of a Justice Department effort to hold industrial polluters accountable for damage done to communities of color, Indigenous and low-income communities is an important step forward. For too long, these communities have suffered disproportionately from pollution and climate change. And that suffering is often fatal; across the globe, pollution contributes to nine million deaths every year. Every person, no matter where they’re

    PUBLISHED IN NEWSWEEK By Michael Shank and US Congresswoman Yvette Clarke President Joe Biden’s long-awaited American Jobs Plan has finally arrived, clocking in at $2.3 trillion in spending over eight years. In today’s dollars, this is almost 5 times the new funding provided in President Obama’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). And yet, as many have been quick to point out, significantly more investment is still needed to match the scale of the intersecting crises facing our nation and to unleash the full potential of the American economy. While its current scale may fall short, one

    PUBLISHED IN NEWSWEEK By Michael Shank and US Congresswoman Yvette Clarke The G7 meeting last month shows how much work is still needed to help less developed countries respond to increasing climate disasters. With rich countries merely reaffirming their over ten-year-old outdated commitment to provide $100 billion annually in aid for poorer countries hardest hit by climate disasters—a target they never met—the G7 is sending the message that they’re unwilling to do what’s necessary to save lives, protect infrastructure, and improve resilience around the world. $100 billion won’t cut it, as former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and

    PUBLISHED IN THE HILL By DR. MICHAEL SHANK Everyone in America deserves the right to clean air, clean water and clean environments in which to live. Achieving these basic human rights for all of us would be a major milestone in building an environmentally just and equitable society — and unfortunately, we’re still far from that goal. In many states, the same familiar story rears its ugly head. Black neighborhoods nationwide are 79 percent more likely than white neighborhoods to be exposed to industrial pollution, often from oil and gas refineries and petrochemical plants. Black and Hispanic communities