Baker, DeVar and Prakash Launch the Initiative for Energy Justice


IEJ12.23.19 — Between the grassroots communities at the frontlines of the climate justice fight and the policymakers who determine the rules and regulations that govern clean energy there is often a deep and dark gap in terms of information and evidence. To shine light on that space, Professor Shalanda Baker ’05 is joining forces with Shiva Prakash ’16 and Subin DeVar to launch the Initiative for Energy Justice. The Kresge Foundation and Surdna Foundation are providing seed funding to the Initiative, which is sponsored by Northeastern University in conjunction with the Sustainable Economies Law Center.

“The  Initiative for Energy Justice will provide energy law and policy tools rooted in energy justice to policy makers and groups serving low-income communities and communities of color,” said Baker, who holds a dual appointment with the School of Law and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. “Through concrete technical policy tools and project models, we will support frontline communities, justice-based organizations and energy policymakers to encourage the transition to renewable energy.”

The Initiative for Energy Justice held its first strategy and policy workshop in October in Boston. The group is currently working on an Energy Justice Workbook, its first policy tool, which will offer a framework for identifying, developing and analyzing justice-centered energy policies in states across the country. The group will also soon launch an Energy Justice Scorecard, which offers policymakers and advocates an opportunity to evaluate proposed energy policy using the energy justice framework developed by the Initiative.

Baker, DeVar and Prakash are co-leading the Initiative. DeVar is director of the Community Renewable Energy Program at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, which provides essential legal tools — education, research, advice and advocacy — so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs and other vital aspects of a thriving community. Prakash is an environmental attorney practicing in New York City and a former Equal Justice Works Fellow for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s Community Energy Project.

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

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