(AUSTIN, TX — May 26, 2021) Pecan Street is launching the Center for Race, Energy & Climate Justice to bring its unique data and research capabilities to help create an equitable energy future. The center and its year one agenda are funded by the Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, Energy Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
“Climate change and racial injustice are inextricably linked. To solve one, we must solve the other,” said Pecan Street CEO Suzanne Russo. “We and our partners will leverage our decade of data and analysis expertise to identify the gaps in information and to develop solutions that ensure the clean energy transition is a just transition.”
“Communities of color have a huge stake in energy,” said John Hall, advisory chair and an icon of Texas’ energy and environmental community. “For the last 100 years, energy has been the driving force behind the economy, especially here in Texas. The industry grew and prospered at the same time that Black and other communities of color were politically disenfranchised, shut out of the growing economy and bore the brunt of the downsides of that growth. So today, power plants are more likely to be located in communities of color. People of color have lower homeownership, which means they have less authority over energy choices. They’re underrepresented in government, which means they have less say in the laws that limit pollution from energy. And they’re sorely underrepresented in the industry itself when it comes to leadership and jobs.”
The center will focus its first-year research on establishing a framework and toolkit for developing equitable energy policies, identifying research gaps in racial justice and equitable policy design, and expanding Pecan Street’s research network within communities of color.
“Studies have long shown that disadvantaged communities are disproportionately affected by energy pollution, pay a higher share of their income on energy, and will bear the brunt of the effects of climate change,” said Rory Christian, board member of Pecan Street and WeACT for Environmental Justice. “Pecan Street’s work can help identify options for a just energy transition, including solutions that increase energy efficiency and make homes and communities healthier and more comfortable, resilient and prosperous as we reduce climate pollution.”
Learn more about Pecan Street’s Center for Race, Energy & Climate Justice and how your organization can participate in our efforts on our website. Individuals, organizations and companies can make online donations to support this work.
About Pecan Street Inc.
Pecan Street is internationally renowned for its pioneering research model that integrates communities, technology developers, data scientists and advocates to accelerate the pace of innovation for climate and conservation solutions. Pecan Street applies a high-impact research and development approach to areas of high potential to serve as cost-effective climate solutions that are impeded by lack of data and technology readiness. Pecan Street is a 501(c)(3) applied research and commercialization institute.
Clayton Johnson, Pecan Street, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-782-9213