The Climate Justice Specialist works at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) in the office of the director to develop and support an environmental justice advisory group to advise state agencies on climate policy and program goals of The Nature Conservancy and DEM. The Specialist will assist DEM and the RI Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4) on development and implementation of equitable programs and policies in response to climate change.
The EC4 is comprised of officials from state agencies with responsibility and oversight of assessing, integrating, and coordinating climate change efforts. The Council is charged with developing and implementing plans for the state to meet economy-wide enforceable targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
In 2021 the Rhode Island legislature passed the landmark Act on Climate. The Act was signed into law by Governor McKee, and a new urgency was set for the state’s response to climate change. The Act on Climate requires the development and publication of a series of plans that outline how Rhode Island will meet the mandates for the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases. The Act also states each plan “shall include an equitable transition to climate compliance for environmental justice populations, redress past environmental and public health inequities, and include a process where the interests of and people from populations most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and at risk of pollution, displacement, energy burden, and cost influence such plan.” To meet this requirement, Governor McKee in January 2022 directed the EC4 to develop an environmental justice advisory group. More information about the EC4 and the Act on Climate is available at climatechange.ri.gov.
The estimated salary for this position is $65,000 with a very competitive benefit package.
The Climate Justice Specialist will engage local and state organizations advocating for environmental justice communities, organize interested community members and advocates into an environmental justice advisory group, support the operations of that advisory group, and support effective coordination and communication between the advisory group and the EC4.
The Climate Justice Specialist will assist DEM and the EC4 on the development and implementation of programs and policies that center equity and environmental justice in the state’s response to climate change. These tasks will include researching policies and programs, coordinating with other state agencies on programs related to climate change, and supporting the operation of DEM, and the EC4 (including the EC4’s two advisory bodies) and associated committees and groups.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
- May supervise volunteers, interns, or temporary staff.
- Financial responsibility to complete projects appropriately.
- Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
- Works within scope of program’s strategic goals.
- Provides research and policy analysis in support of policy priorities.
- May assist in preparation of program materials including presentations, memos, and other communications.
- Influences the outcome of policy initiatives at the state level.
- Develops strategic partnerships with relevant agencies, conservation organizations, and environmental justice advocates.
- Work independently, working with supervisor as needed.