I research and write about climate and environmental justice, just transition– how to transition to a low carbon economy in a way that protects workers and communities, and the relationship between inequality and the climate crisis. Currently, I’m an Assistant Professor at Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Department, a Fellow at Cornell University’s Worker Institute, and a Senior Fellow at Data for Progress. I’m also on the Board of Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment (CRPE), Good for Girls, and Welcome Ideas. My previous work experience includes Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law, Associate Director at PolicyLink, Senior Policy Analyst at Demos, Director of Campaign Research/ Policy Director at Urban Agenda (now ALIGN), Senior Policy Analyst at the Progressive States Network, and visiting legal scholar positions at CRPE, ICIMOD and IUCN.
I am also a policy and research consultant. My past projects include research for the Worker Institute at Cornell University, UC Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Common Cause, Demos, and the Building Movement Project.
- “Learning from the New York Experiment: Managing a Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Future,” in the Public Administration Review online symposium (June, 2019) on the Green New Deal.
- “From the Dirty Past to the Clean Future: Addressing historic energy injustices with a just transition to a low-carbon future,” in the first edition, Routledge Handbook of Climate Justice (Routledge, 2018), available here.
- J. Mijin Cha, Jane Holgate, and Karel Yon, “Emergent Cultures of Activism: Young People and the Building of Alliances Between Unions and Other Social Movements,” Work and Occupations, First Published July 4, 2018. Available here, or email me and I can send you a PDF.
- “A Just Transition: Why Transitioning Workers into a New Clean Energy Economy Should Be at the Center of Climate Change Policies,” 29 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 196 (2017).
- “Labor Leading on Climate: A Policy Platform to Address Rising Inequality and Rising Sea Levels in New York State,” 34 Pace Envtl L. Rev. 423 (2017)
- “Changing Climate and Changing Rights: Exploring Legal and Policy Frameworks for Indigenous Mountain Communities in Nepal,” in Climate Change and Indigenous People (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013)
- “Increasing Access to Environmental Justice: A Resource Book for Advocacy and Legal Literacy in South Asia” Published by ICIMOD, ISBN 978 92 9115 021 2. (2007)
- “Access to Justice in the United States: Embracing Environmental and Social Concerns to Achieve Environmental Justice.” in Access to Environmental Justice: Comparative Perspectives (Martinus Nijhoff, 2007).
- “Environmental Justice in Rural South Asia: Applying Lessons Learned from the U.S. in Fighting for Indigenous Communities’ Rights and Access to Common Resources,” Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, Vol. 19:185 (2007).
- “A Critical Examination of the Environmental Jurisprudence of the Courts of India,” 10 Alb. L. Envtl. Outlook 197 (2005).
Principle Investigator, Just Transition Roadmap, Climate Equity Network, July 2018-March 2019.
- J. Mijin Cha with Manuel Pastor, Madeline Wander, James Sadd, and Rachel Morello-Frosch, “A Roadmap to an Equitable Low-Carbon Future: Four Pillars for a Just Transition,” (April, 2019) available here.
I hold a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, a J.D. from UC Hastings, College of the Law, and LLM and PhD degrees from the Univ. of London, SOAS. My PhD thesis, Law, Justice & the Environment: A Comparative Analysis of Access to Justice Movements in India and the U.S., can be found in the depths of the SOAS library in London.
Finally, the great Ta-Nehisi Coates once wished me Happy Birthday. It remains one of the best birthday presents ever.