America’s transportation system emits more greenhouse gases than any other sector. While the resultant climate crisis impacts all of us, America’s LMI and BIPOC communities have suffered the ill effects of transportation emissions longer and more acutely than anyone else. Racist housing discrimination and redlining practices led to the siting of transportation and industrial infrastructure through and alongside predominantly minority and immigrant communities. Increased exposure to toxic emissions has resulted in disproportionately high rates of asthma, birth complications, cancer, and premature deaths. This infrastructure makes disadvantaged communities more vulnerable to climate change through increased flooding, thermal heat island effects, and other extreme weather impacts.

In response to America’s climate crisis and racial justice reckoning, including in the realm of transportation, the Biden Administration has put forth the Justice40 Initiative.

This brief investigates Justice40’s possible impact on transportation. We begin with a background on environmental and social equity issues in the US transportation system, with a specific focus on how emissions disproportionately affected BIPOC and LMI communities. Then, the details of this initiative will be explored, including the way disadvantaged communities will be identified, examples of programs, and how funding will be disbursed. Afterward, Mobilify will provide an analysis of the initiative, including a discussion of how Justice40 may benefit communities and the challenges that it may face.

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