On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans took part in demonstrations and community cleanups celebrating the first Earth Day. There are very few moments that have brought the world together as the environmental movement has resonated with some many people all over the world.
The seventies heralded the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Clean Air Act to regulate emission from power plants, factories, and cars. The Clean Water Act was also passed in the early seventies to protect our waterways from industrial and agricultural pollution as well as from sewage facilities.
The Biden Administration has recently rejoined the Paris Agreement, and is reversing much of the Trump Administration’s policies that seriously weakened our environmental protections. And that will put lawyers back in court, to fight for the environment.
President Biden has outlined plans that include transitioning the U.S. to clean energy and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Lawyers and law firms have made significant policy changes over the years, pledging to perform pro bono legal services in support of efforts to promote environmental sustainability. Many laws have adopted sustainability initiatives, including elimination of non-reusable coffee and water cups, two-sided copying, and increased recycling.
Look for new policies and rules that support “Environmental justice” to the extent where poor or minority communities begin to have protection from excessive pollutions of their water supply and community. Under the Biden Administration’s leadership, it is expected corporate community to champion environmental stewardship of their communities as well as lead in sustainable eco-friendly practices. New federal regulations are certain to be passed given President Biden’s commitment to addressing climate change.
On Earth Day, as well as every day, the legal industry is committed to taking care of the environment by embracing business practices that reduce our environmental impact while contributing to a more sustainable future for all.