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INFO SHEET: Equity Benefits of New Laws: Focus on CEJA

INFO SHEET: Equity Benefits of New Laws: Focus on CEJA

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As we learn in detail in the Clean Energy Jobs Course, intentional efforts are needed to ensure everyone can participate in the benefits of a clean energy economy. In 2015, the NAACP issued the “Illinois Energy Justice Snapshot.” They outlined the state of energy policies in Illinois, and how the clean energy economy could benefit people of color, not just the usual suspects of wealthy and big business. Many of the good, fair recommendations from this document can be found in the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and are listed below. You can read more about how the Clean Energy Jobs Act puts racial and socioeconomic equity at the center of its programs. The following information is available on the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition website. The full scope and detail of equity in CEJA is not found in any other IL clean energy legislation.

Making sure job benefits are shared:

–Job training, replacement and retention

–Wealth building through new capital and support for business incubator services and BIPOC prime contractors

–Assuring job opportunities for Black, Indigeneous, People of Color through equity points system

–Reservation of renewable energy credits for BIPOC contractor accelerator graduates and contractors that meet equity actions

–Green Fund to provide financing opportunities to MBEs and BIPOC contractors

–Solar and energy efficiency training in prisons

Making sure everyone can get clean energy:

–Pay as you save – guaranteed savings for energy efficiency upgrades

–Improving and expanding Illinois Solar for All

–Increasing equity in community solar, energy efficiency, and transportation through new community- and consumer-focused initiatives

–Equitable decarbonization by prioritizing regulating and closing the plants near population centers, environmental justice and high sulfur emissions communities

Making sure fossil fuel workers and communities are treated fairly:

–Bill of Rights for displaced workers

–Tax credits for businesses hiring displaced workers

–“Clean Energy Empowerment Zones” in communities with closing coal plants provide tax and economic development incentives

Myth: Too many jobs will be lost, we should not switch to clean energy.

Mythbuster: Switching to clean energy creates many more jobs than it destroys. Read more.

Myth: Equity, diversity and inclusion are a waste of time and money. 

Mythbuster: Solar jobs mostly go to white men, and e/d/i improves company performance. Read more.

What can you do?

Get the latest CEJA news, contact legislators, participate in grassroots activism, learn about town halls and other events; visit the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition website at www.ilcleanjobs.orgTake courses on energy and climate, join in an online community and find local groups, take clean energy target actions and earn points; visit the CLEANetwork website at