An Environmental Justice Agenda for 2021

Michael Méndez, assistant professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine opines on California's continued struggle to implement ambitious climate goals.

February 9, 2021, 11:00 AM PST

By Clare Letmon


Green New Deal

Courtesy of the Office of Rep. Mike Levin / Via The Planning Report

The Biden administration's top priorities in its first month in office have focused on addressing the “four converging crises — COVID-19, the resulting economic crisis, climate change, and racial inequity.” The Planning Report interviewed University of California, Irvine Assistant Professor Michael Méndez—also a recent appointee to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board—about what lessons Los Angeles and California can provide to policymakers in Washington, D.C on climate action and environmental justice.

Dr. Méndez opines on California's continued struggle to implement ambitious climate goals and further elaborates on his new book Climate Change from the Streets: How Conflict and Collaboration Strengthen the Environmental Justice Movement (Yale University Press), which Bloomberg's Liam Denning notes, "should be required reading for the most committed Green New Dealers and their opponents alike."

"What we're seeing is a new era of environmentalism where ambitious policymakers have to create a new political calculus in addressing climate change, the Green New Deal, and environmental justice groups," says Méndez in the interview.

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