We need to rebuild better. Together.

This is a turning point

The country is facing a pivotal moment in history. Civil unrest, more than 150,000 COVID-19 deaths and tens of millions unemployed across the country. All the while, climate change impacts continue to mount, with low income and communities of color facing the brunt of these crises.

As we move to repair our COVID-battered economy, we have a chance to make it better and where the benefits are more justly felt by all. We can and must rebuild a better world where the air is cleaner, communities are healthier and people can prosper.

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Congress: We need a healthier future where all people can thrive

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A healthier, stronger and safer America

Solar workers

Workers in every sector of the economy need support, especially in low-income communities where residents have been hit hardest by this public health crisis and many have been struggling beforehand.

Rebuilding better means more than jobs. It means a healthier, stronger, safer America. We must work with the communities most impacted by this crisis to build a world where the air is cleaner, communities are healthier, and opportunities are greater.

  • We can rebuild healthier: Investing in clean energy will mean cleaner, healthier air for millions of Americans, including communities of color who suffer disproportionately from chronic air pollution. And because we know that breathing polluted air causes heart and lung diseases that make COVID-19 more likely to result in serious illness or death, that’s more important now than ever.
  • We can rebuild stronger, employing a diverse workforce to shore up our coastal and river communities to better withstand the intense storm systems that have and will continue to batter them, while putting boots-on-the-ground to help the Forest Service implement the measures we need to curtail deadly wildfires in the West.
  • We can rebuild safer and put people, including the thousands of fossil fuel workers who have lost their jobs, back to work shutting down abandoned oil wells that release toxic air pollution, repairing the nation’s leaky methane gas pipelines, and replacing the lead water lines that have made so many children sick in over 4,000 American communities.

Clean energy poised for strong rebound

While we make investments to build a stronger and more inclusive economy, we should lead with the industries that show the greatest potential to help families recover.

Over 620,000 clean energy workers have been laid off since March. But before the coronavirus took down the economy, clean energy was one of the nation’s strongest sectors, growing 70% faster than the economy as a whole, and with support — including specific investments in communities of color — is poised for a strong rebound.

Science says the U.S. needs a 100% clean economy — one that produces no more climate pollution than we can also remove from the atmosphere – no later than 2050. Pumping money into the fossil fuel industry while ignoring the growing demand for clean energy will only continue to make people sick and not get us to that critical goal.

Read more: The energy job market is in trouble. Here's how we fix it.

Standing together

EDF Summer of Action partners at a Washington DC fly in.

EDF Summer of Action partners at a recent Washington DC fly in.

As our leaders focus on stopping the pandemic and putting people back to work, they must also build racial equity and find solutions to the underlying causes of COVID-19’s unequal impact.

We will continue to work with our partners to bring down the barriers that affect people of color, indigenous communities and other historically marginalized groups, and work toward environmental justice and a society where all people can thrive.