Stacey Abrams – Climate Activist

Stacey Abrams, American politician, lawyer, and former Georgia House of Representatives minority leader, is best known for her voting rights activism. Abrams founded the organisation Fair Fight in in 2014 to address issues including voter participation, election reform, and voter education. In addition, Abrams went on to establish Fair Fight Action in 2018 in response to the voter suppression allegedly evident in the Georgia 2018 elections. 

Beyond this, however, Abrams has been a staunch and vocal advocate for environmental reform throughout her life. Whilst at university, she interned at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Prior to her time at Yale Law School, Abrams worked in the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice under the Clinton administration. During her legal career, as Deputy City Attorney, Abrams oversaw legislation implementing the strongest water conservation laws among municipalities, and sponsored many laws promoting clean energy and offering tax credits for low-emission vehicles. 

Energy and environmental reform were also major elements of Stacey Abrams’ platform for election as Georgia Governor in 2018. Abrams pledged to invest in advanced and renewable energy through initiatives including a Georgia Green Bank, and to protect communities of colour and low-income communities from being disproportionately impacted by industrial and commercial projects. 

In a July 2020 op-ed for TIME magazine, Abrams acknowledged that climate action often remains side lined for ostensible more urgent problems. Yet, as she emphasised, ‘extreme weather continues, natural disasters are intensifying, polar ice is still melting, sea levels are rising, and the human cost remains stubbornly high.’ Abrams urged the environmental movement to engage in ‘aggressive action’ that engages diverse groups of voices. Abrams contended that the most effective climate action will be that which highlights the impact of inaction upon everyday people’s everyday lives — only once this has begun, can the electorate ‘build alliances to overwhelm the system’ with votes for truly effective climate legislation.

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