Administrator Regan Highlights Climate and Equity at G20 Environment Ministers’ Meeting
Washington, DC (July 23, 2021) – EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan participated in the G20 Environment Ministers’ Meeting in Naples, Italy, on July 22, 2021, advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to confronting the climate crisis and restoring U.S. leadership on the global stage. Administrator Regan also highlighted the administration’s commitment to advancing equity at home and abroad.
“As President Biden has made clear, America is back. We are at the table, making up for lost time, and leading the way on global climate action. Our Build Back Better agenda will cut greenhouse gas emissions while creating good-paying jobs,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Advancing justice and equity is a high priority for this Administration and it won’t be confined to our borders. The G20 Environment Communiqué speaks to a just and equitable transition to a more sustainable future, where no one is left behind.”
Following the meeting, the G20 environment ministers issued a communiqué on continuing and increasing efforts to address the interconnected challenges of climate change, equity, and biodiversity loss. In the communiqué, ministers committed to enhancing equitable access to affordable drinking water, hygiene, and sanitation for all and especially for vulnerable and underserved groups. Ministers also recognized the critical importance of involving youth in environment-related processes at all levels and empowering younger generations with the necessary skills and tools to build a sustainable future for all.
Ministers also called for stronger actions to tackle sources of marine plastic litter and welcomed the new G20 report sharing the latest best practices to control marine plastic. Ministers acknowledged the urgent need to align financial flows to sustainable development requirements, in order to meet biodiversity, ocean, land degradation and climate targets and enhance ecosystem services.
While in Naples, Administrator Regan also met with leaders of Legambiente and Fondazione con il Sud, two NGOs. The organizations are supporting work in an underserved community to overcome energy poverty by installing renewable energy locally, and through environmental education. In his visit to Fondazione Famiglia di Maria in the San Giovanni a Teduccio neighborhood in Naples, the Administrator met children participating in environmental education programs, including learning laboratories on climate and environmental protection, as well as gardening and neighborhood cleanups, and saw the solar power installation that provides energy to the community.
Administrator Regan’s visit underscored the environmental justice and equity challenges that exist across the globe and showcased solutions that improve communities and address climate change. Earlier this year, Administrator Regan issued a directive to all EPA employees to embed environmental justice and equity into the work of the agency.
During the visit, Administrator Regan also held productive bilateral meetings with G20 environment ministers from Japan, France, Italy, Germany, the European Commission and South Korea. The issues of climate and environmental justice were central to these discussions, as Administrator Regan reinforced President Biden’s commitment to close cooperation with our G20 partners. Photos and readouts from the Administrator’s bilateral meetings are available through the Administrator’s Twitter feed.