Reckoning with Climate and Environmental Injustice on Juneteenth

19 hours 11 minutes ago

Tomorrow is Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas – home of the most remote enslaved people in the United States – to spread the word that the Civil War had ended and enslaved Black people were free. This happened two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

It is a reminder to all of us that none of us are free until all of us are free.

Juneteenth has long been a day of celebration, education, and community for Black people in America – and we’re encouraged to see it get the recognition it deserves as a new federal holiday.

We also recognize that the struggle is not over – and that the road to a more just, equitable, and sustainable future is long and uneven.

As an organization fighting for climate and environmental justice, we have a responsibility every day to speak out against systemic racism and work with our partners to help dismantle systems of White supremacy that perpetuate violence and harm against BIPOC communities.

No parent should have to ask about chemicals in the water their kids drink. No one should have to wonder what the air they breathe is doing to their lungs. Or worry that yet another hurricane will unleash life-threatening floods and take away everything they own. There can be no climate and environmental justice without racial justice.

To learn more about the fight for climate and environmental justice, we invite you to visit our topic page. It’s important to recognize that we’re not the field experts here and our work draws heavily on grassroots partners and organizations who’ve been fighting this fight for many year

climate realityclimateclimate changeclimate crisisjusticeenvironmental justiceclimate justiceJuneteenthracismfreedomequityThe Climate Reality ProjectEnvironmental Racism: What It is and How You Can Fight ItWhat We Want: Climate Justice and Healthy CommunitiesWait, Why is a Climate Org Talking About Racial Justice?Lead: As an organization fighting for climate and environmental justice, we have a responsibility to speak out against systemic racism and work with our partners to help dismantle systems of White supremacy that perpetuate violence and harm against BIPOC communities. facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/reckoning-climate-and-environmental-injustice-juneteenth?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Reckoning with Climate and Environmental Injustice on JuneteenthTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3xyT7tP
ipacha

What the American Jobs Plan Means for West Virginia

1 day 15 hours ago

As renewable energy technologies like solar and wind have become cost competitive with fossil fuels, demand for coal has waned in the power sector.

In the US, West Virginia has been ground zero for this transition.

Coal long has been king in this part of the country, but driven by advances in technology, automation of many jobs, and simple market forces, careers in the sector are in a terminal decline – and communities across West Virginia have been trying to figure out another way forward as jobs disappear.

The answer cannot be found in the region’s past and the dirty, dangerous coal that propelled its initial growth. Instead, reinvigorating one of America's most beautiful and misunderstood states has everything to do with the future.

Enter the American Jobs Plan, a far-reaching plan to reimagine and rebuild the US economy with more than $2 trillion in strategic investments over eight years.

The American Jobs Plan proposes a lot of big investments. In highways and bridges. In public transit and electric vehicle support. In efficient housing and weatherization. In clean energy and an updated grid. And so much more.

Here’s what all that means for the people of West Virginia:

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WHAT YOU CAN DO

Together, we can build a cleaner, greener, healthier future for communities across West Virginia and around the country.

It starts with joining your local Climate Reality chapter.

Everyday Americans are joining Climate Reality chapters and working together for practical climate solutions in communities from sea to shining sea. These friends, neighbors, and colleagues are making a real difference for our climate when it matters – and you can too.

Now’s not the time for half measures. Now’s the time to go big, bold, and fast. Before it’s too late.

Join a Climate Reality chapter today and be part of the fight for a sustainable future.

climate changeclimate crisisWest Virginianatural gasjobswindsolarrenewablesAmerican Jobs PlanweatherizationefficiencycareerswarmingCoalThe Climate Reality ProjectThe Climate Crisis is a Threat to National SecurityCoal Will Not Bring Appalachia Back to Life – But Tech and Government Jobs CouldBuilding Community Resilience: The Path Toward Environmental JusticeLead: Making sure bold climate action remains an essential feature of the American Jobs Plan will benefit West Virginians in countless ways.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/what-american-jobs-plan-means-west-virginia?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: What the American Jobs Plan Means for West VirginiaTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3vB88ts
ipacha

6 LGBTQ+ climate organizations leading the way

1 week ago

The movement for climate action and climate justice is always made stronger by the diverse voices that drive it. This Pride Month, we’re highlighting some of the LGBTQ+ climate organizations working to protect our shared future and fight for true justice for those most impacted by the climate crisis.

Learn more about these organizations, and find out how you can join the fight for climate justice:

1. Out for Sustainability. For more than a decade, O4S has brought LGTBQ+ voices to the center of the movement. The organization sponsors service projects, summits, and events in regions across North America. O4S initiatives include Plastic Free Pride and Qready.

2. Queers x Climate. QXC supports LGBTQ+ activists working to solve the climate crisis. From communications work to litigation, QXC works to harness the ingenuity of LGBTQ+ activists for the climate movement.

3. Our Climate Voices. At its core, the climate crisis is about the people it impacts. Our Climate Voices works to share the stories of those impacted by the climate crisis and those working to solve it, centering queer voices at the intersection of climate and LGBTQ activism.

4. Queer Nature. Our environment must be accessible to all, but too often that’s not case for LGBTQ2+, and in particular queer and trans BIPOC individuals. Queer Nature aims to create space for these communities to experience the natural world and learn ecologically-based skillsets. Queer Nature keeps a particular focus on justice-centered learnings, nature education, and ancestral skills.

5. Queer Eco Project. The Queer Eco projects sits at the “intersection of ecological justice and queer liberation,” and aims to build a movement of queer folks impacted by the climate crisis and environmental injustice, and queer climate and environmental activists. With projects including #Queers4ClimateJustice, the Queer Eco Project aims to support and center those at the heart of the crisis.

6. The Venture Out Project. The LGBTQ+ community deserves safe access to enjoy the great outdoors – and the Venture Out Project is making that happen. With wilderness trips, workshops, and nature-focused events, Venture Out offers opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals to connect with our natural environment and build community.

Ready to take the next step for climate and environmental justice? Join the Climate Reality Leadership Corps at one of our upcoming virtual trainings! Sign up to be the first to hear when training registration opens.

Pride monthLGBTQ climatequeer climateclimate justiceThe Climate Reality ProjectWhy the Climate Movement Has to Be an Equity MovementBuilding an Equitable and Inclusive Climate MovementWhat the American Jobs Plan Means for North CarolinaLead: This Pride Month, let’s celebrate those working at the intersection of LGBTQ+ and climate activism. facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/6-lgbtq-climate-organizations-leading-way?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: 6 LGBTQ+ climate organizations leading the wayTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3gdvWza
ipacha

What the American Jobs Plan Means for North Carolina

1 week 1 day ago

Like so many coastal US states, North Carolina is already feeling the effects of the climate crisis.

Rising seas are creeping further and further into coastal communities, particularly when the storm surge accompanying a tropical storm system is there to provide a little extra push. Saltwater intrusion into brackish and freshwater wetlands, rivers, and creeks is creating trouble for several types of marine life, including clams, mussels, and oysters – which as you might expect are valuable food exports.

Today, North Carolinians can expect temperatures to rise above 95 degrees Fahrenheit about 10 days each year. In 70 years, that number could be anywhere from 20 to as many as 40 days per year in most of the state.

So what do we do about it?

We fight for a bold, intact American Jobs Plan that will reimagine and rebuild the US economy with more than $2 trillion in strategic investments over eight years.

The American Jobs Plan proposes a lot of big investments. In highways and bridges. In public transit and electric vehicle support. In efficient housing and weatherization. In clean energy and an updated grid. In the things we must to do as a nation to assure a safe, healthy, sustainable future free from the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

Here’s what all that means for the people of North Carolina:

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What You Can Do

Together, we can build a cleaner, greener, healthier future for communities across North Carolina and around the country.

It starts with joining your local Climate Reality chapter.

Everyday Americans are joining Climate Reality chapters and working together for practical climate solutions in communities from sea to shining sea. These friends, neighbors, and colleagues are making a real difference for our climate when it matters – and you can too.

Now’s not the time for half measures. Now’s the time to go big, bold, and fast. Before it’s too late.

Join a Climate Reality chapter today and be part of the fight for a sustainable future.

climate changeclimate crisisnorth Carolinanatural gasjobswindsolarrenewablesAmerican Jobs PlanweatherizationefficiencycareerswarmingCoalThe Climate Reality ProjectWhat the American Jobs Plan Means for ArizonaNot Just Sea Level Rise: How the Climate Crisis is Changing Our OceansWhat the American Jobs Plan Means for PennsylvaniaLead: Making sure bold climate action remains an essential feature of the American Jobs Plan will benefit North Carolinians in countless ways.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/what-american-jobs-plan-means-north-carolina?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: What the American Jobs Plan Means for North CarolinaTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3zjBy2o
ipacha

Connecting the Dots: The Relationship Between Health, Climate, and Race

1 week 2 days ago

There’s been a lot of talk in the past year about how COVID-19 hit places and people differently. Communities of color have suffered greater rates of sickness, job loss, food and housing insecurity, as well as all of the complications cascading from these things.

And while it’s true that the pandemic exposed inequities in the United States, the fact is that BIPOC communities have long suffered from worse health outcomes than White Americans, as well as the inordinate health impacts of environmental pollution. Today, these are the people and places that also find themselves on the front lines of the climate crisis.

Understanding the relationship between health, climate, and race is essential in order to develop local solutions to address inequities and an overall just transition to clean and healthy energy sources.

Let’s look at three groups shining a light on the systemic connections between health, climate, and race so that their communities can break an unjust and vicious cycle. The Climate Reality Project is proud to play a role in supporting these important efforts.

Louisiana League of Conscious Voters 

The Louisiana League of Conscious Voters is a grassroots environmental justice and civil rights organization working with formerly incarcerated Black women and families throughout Louisiana's River Parishes, the counties that line the Mississippi River as it passes through Southeast Louisiana. The group’s Building a Fresh Start in New Orleans East project seeks to address the intersectional issues of environmental racism, mass incarceration, and climate disaster recovery in a neighborhood known as The Goose.

“Named after a bar from the neighborhood's heyday in the 1950s and 60s, The Goose today is a shell of its former self,” the organization states, “its mid-century identity as a middle class, Black, suburban community destroyed by decades of economic disinvestment coupled with the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. Located right near the Mississippi River industrial canal, The Goose lost over 90% of its housing stock to the storm and/or subsequent city-sanctioned demolition; equal numbers of its residents were displaced, relocated, or lost their lives.”

While much work has been done post-Katrina, health issues remain widespread, as does toxicity in the soil. The LLCV aims to help residents better understand the toxicity of their environment by educating and including resident participation in sample collection and monitoring. The project also promises to build a fresh start for transitional residents, who will connect with long-time neighbors through the building of urban gardens and growing healthy food.

Along the way, residents will make short films with local gardeners to collect gardening tips and oral histories around the rich connection of this community to growing their own food.

Operation Better Block

Before the coronavirus pandemic, more than half of Pittsburgh’s largely Black Homewood community was living under the federal poverty level. The pandemic exacerbated food insecurity in Homewood, where residents already had to travel more than half a mile or more for groceries. Job loss and sickness, coupled with restricted public transportation and lack of access to assistance programs has led to challenges finding healthy, fresh foods. 

Operation Better Block, which has worked in the community for some 50 years, cites COVID-19 as both exposing and worsening the already entangled relationship between race, health, and environment. The lack of a balanced diet, “when combined with inordinate exposure to environmental hazards such as soil lead contaminates and air pollution, feedback into a cycle of chronic health disparities such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and asthma, resulting in a heightened health risk unique to the Homewood community during this pandemic crisis,” the organization states. 

In response, the group has put its Junior Green Corps (JGC) program to work building and planting gardens in order to produce and distribute healthy food in the community. The JGC is a job readiness program that engages youth ages 14 to 18 in an effort to prevent blight and deterioration while cultivating a sense of responsibility and civic pride within the neighborhood. The JGC also leads outreach efforts to educate Homewood community members on environmental justice and sustainability topics.

Through the program, participants will learn about environmental justice, and will engage in clean-ups and the production of healthy food for the community.

The Junction Coalition of Toledo

For more than 10 years, the Junction Coalition of Toledo, Ohio, has worked in its predominantly Black community as a force for economic, social, and environmental justice.

The Junction community is an example of how feedback loops of inequity and suffering stem from injustice: An economically stressed and aging population has struggled to maintain or update residences, leaving many houses in the neighborhood insufficient to shelter people, particularly with increased storm intensity and higher temperatures. In addition to increased flooding and heat waves, challenges of food insecurity, urban heat island effects, and algal blooms in the water source plague the neighborhood.

Now, homelessness and home insecurity have been exacerbated by COVID-19. The group calls the lack of investment and support “the latest permutation of ‘redlining,’ in housing and property ownership, provision of city services, employment, food and retail availability, among others.”

The Coalition points to statistics that show Black home ownership lags behind that of White Americans, while Black people have been more likely to become sick, lose their jobs and/or be evicted during the coronavirus pandemic. “Data like this increase the likelihood of lack of preparation for climate events, with increased storm damage and increased heat being factors in our portion of the Midwest,” according to the organization.
 

In response, the Junction Coalition has created a holistic neighborhood program to address the confluence of issues. With the assistance of partners like Habitat for Humanity, it will be rehabilitating and weatherproofing homes, and working with the City of Toledo to install green infrastructure to alleviate flooding. A local youth cohort will be educated about the impacts of severe climate events and provide outreach to the elderly.

Taken together, the efforts support the coalition’s aim to serve as a guiding force for systemic change.

Want to learn more about the exciting campaigns, training programs, educational content, and climate advocacy happening at The Climate Reality Project? Sign up for our email list and be the first to know the latest climate science as well as when powerful opportunities to stand up for a better, more sustainable tomorrow arise!

*/ climate changeclimate crisisclimate justiceenvironmental justicegrantsgranteesthe climate reality projectpartnermoneyLouisiana League of Conscious VotersOperation Better BlockThe Junction Coalition of Toledo Content Components:  Not in the US? In the US? .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }   .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }     The Climate Reality ProjectWait, Why is a Climate Org Talking About Racial Justice?Could COVID-19 Make Hurricane Season WorseWhere We’re Going and How We Get There Together (Free Download)Lead: This is the last in our series of four blog posts featuring the recipients of The Climate Reality Project’s 2021 Climate Justice for All Grants.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/connecting-dots-relationship-between-health-climate-and-race?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Connecting the Dots: The Relationship Between Health, Climate, and RaceTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3ulrBOm
ipacha

Building Community Resilience: The Path Toward Environmental Justice

1 week 4 days ago

For generations, systemic racism has put communities of color in the path of pollution. Today, the climate crisis is exacerbating impacts for these frontline communities, through extreme weather, sea level rise, heat-related illness, and much more.

The term “resilience” literally refers to the capacity to recover – to bounce back – from difficulties. Frontline and fenceline communities have had to be resilient, dealing with health and financial challenges that cascade and impact entire families and regions.

Yet, as long as structural inequities remain, the source of these problems won’t be addressed.

Community organizers increasingly are focusing on empowering residents with knowledge and advocacy tools related to the climate crisis in order to build community resilience and forge a just transition to clean energy.

Today, we look at three organizations building the leadership required to truly change the course of their communities. The Climate Reality Project is proud to partner with these groups in this work by designating them recipients of our 2021 Climate Justice for All Grants.

Uplift 

Since 2015, Uplift has been organizing in the Southwest, where the climate crisis has manifested in long-term drought and increasing incidence and intensity of wildfires. “Our region is an energy sacrifice zone,” the organization states. “Over 100,000 sites of extractive infrastructure exist on the Colorado Plateau, including oil and gas wells, and uranium and coal mines.”

This summer, the group is running a digital fellowship for the second time in order to engage frontline BIPOC youth from Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico to become problem solvers and advocate for a just future. The program aims to produce a more inter-connected, resourced, and empowered new generation of climate activists in the greater Southwest.

Uplift understands the power and importance of youth when it comes to community resilience: Its core organizers and leadership team are young people, most of whom are Indigenous and immigrant-descended young women.

“Young people are uniquely poised to advocate for a climate just future as we are adept at imagining and experimenting, two skills necessary for creating a world that is no longer dependent on extractive industries,” states the organization. Sure enough, past fellows have gone on to support and lead campaigns within their communities, including supporting community gardens, leading campaigns to stop oil extraction, developing outings with Latinx youth, and organizing efforts to protect Bears Ears, a site sacred to many Southwest tribes.

The Gullah Geechee Chamber Foundation

Coastal South Carolina sits squarely in the path of climate catastrophe, experiencing sea level rise and severe storms including tropical cyclones that have hit regularly for the past several years. According to The Gullah Geechee Chamber Foundation, those weather impacts threaten valuable ecosystem services provided by natural resources, which historically have allowed for quality agriculture, flood mitigation, air and water quality enhancement, access to fishing and raw materials for traditional crafting practices, and an overall good quality of life.

Today, climate change puts all this at risk. The Foundation aims to engage local people and communities on the front lines of the climate crisis who have been disenfranchised and under-resourced in dealing with these impacts.

“The main goal of this project is to enhance climate change awareness and environmental literacy amongst BIPOC and frontline communities in coastal South Carolina so that they are prepared to have a voice at the table to ensure that socially optimal and sustainable adaptation solutions are implemented in their communities,” states the organization.

To do so, the group is creating a program focused on building resilience with education in the form of conference sessions and speakers, focusing on the latest science and case studies in climate resilience.

Black Millennials 4 Flint

Black Millennials 4 Flint (#BM4F) is a grassroots environmental justice and civil rights organization created to take action against the crisis of lead exposure in Black and Latino communities. This summer, the group will conduct an intensive training focused on federal policy as it relates to health equity and environmental justice in Flint, Michigan.

“Flint is most known for the water crisis; however, Flint has been a frontline EJ community for decades due to legacy pollution from the automobile industry and increased challenges with extreme weather due to climate change,” the organization states. According to the group, in the 1990s, an incinerator near Flint used wood from demolished lead-contaminated buildings to generate electricity, exposing nearby air and soil to dangerous levels of toxins. “The intersection of body burden, white flight and racism … continues to cause instability in Flint’s social determinants of health,” it states.

In response, the group has created The EJ Griot Project. “Griots” is a term originating in Mali, where it refers to storytellers who maintain their tribal community’s narrative through oral traditions.

BM4F is using the concept to develop the capacity of young BIPOC leaders to become ambassadors through political advocacy, activism, and community organizing. Ultimately, the aim is that this cohort can imagine, articulate, and then help to enact a new narrative that can champion environmental justice and lead to improved health in the community.

Want to learn more about the exciting campaigns, training programs, educational content, and climate advocacy happening at The Climate Reality Project? Sign up for our email list and be the first to know the latest climate science as well as when powerful opportunities to stand up for a better, more sustainable tomorrow arise!

*/ climate changeclimate crisisclimate justiceenvironmental justicegrantsgranteesthe climate reality projectpartnermoneyUpliftThe Gullah Geechee Chamber FoundationBlack Millennials 4 Flint Content Components:  Not in the US? In the US? .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }   .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }     The Climate Reality ProjectWait, Why is a Climate Org Talking About Racial Justice?Regenerative Agriculture and Municipal Climate Action PlansThe Climate Crisis and Flooding: What You Need to Know Lead: This is the third in a series of four blog posts featuring the recipients of The Climate Reality Project’s 2021 Climate Justice for All Grants.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/building-community-resilience-path-toward-environmental-justice?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Building Community Resilience: The Path Toward Environmental JusticeTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3upZrS9
ipacha

Increasing Awareness: Cracking the Climate Silence

2 weeks ago

Research shows that more than any other factor, race determines which communities are exposed to the earliest and worst impacts of environmental hazards – a result of centuries of systemic racism. The past few years have seen an increasing focus on the fact that the climate crisis is also a racial justice issue, but there is still a long way to go in terms of educating people on climate change in general, as well as the entrenched dynamics at play that create inequities.

Communities of color are leading the charge in the fight for equitable solutions and in spreading awareness of the impacts of the climate crisis that have already hit home for so many.

Here are two organizations that have made it their mission to educate their own communities and others on the impacts of climate crisis in order to engage in the fight for a healthier future. The Climate Reality Project is proud to partner with these leaders in the fight for environmental justice. 

Dream in Green

Dream in Green understands that awareness of a problem is a first step to solving it. The organization will be focusing its Green Schools Challenge: Climate Justice Curriculum and Teacher Training in South Florida, specifically Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Broward County Public Schools.

According to the organization, the demographics of students enrolled are made up of almost 71% Hispanic and 20% Black, making it one of the most diverse districts in the country. These counties are also home to neighborhoods at the greatest risk from the negative effects of the climate crisis.

“The overall goal of our program is to expose school communities to the links between water, energy, waste, environment, climate change, community sustainability and social justice to inspire behavioral changes that promote environmental stewardship,” the organization states.

This is hugely important in South Florida, where climate gentrification hot spots are developing: With home prices being driven by more frequent hurricanes and rising sea levels, low-income residents are being displaced from neighborhoods in protected areas they can no longer afford.

Dream in Green will address the lack of environmental education in South Florida by using a train-the-trainer model, disseminating an environmental education program to teachers who in turn train other teachers and students on how best to implement the program.

For this project, Dream in Green is creating grade appropriate lessons focusing on the climate gentrification issue of predominately Latino and Haitian neighborhoods, sea level rise effects on flood zones, and the growing concern of food deserts in low-income neighborhoods.

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC) is working to grow awareness of the benefits of Illinois’ new Clean Energy Jobs Act to create more environmentally just Black communities. The organization aims to amplify the voices of Black people of faith and other residents to make sure that the state’s clean energy future properly includes and reflects the needs of the people in the communities impacted the most.

The organization has a history of addressing climate justice with its ongoing Faithful Climate Action Project, citing the dynamic of communities – such as those it serves in metropolitan Chicago – “that are impacted by pollution and the ravages of climate change but historically not included in the energy policy decision-making processes, even when those policies are intended for their benefit.”

SDPC will engage Black clergy and their congregations, communicating the benefits of clean energy programs and raising awareness of and engagement in policy actions that create those benefits.

By addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the environmental movement, the hope is that ultimately a virtuous cycle can take the place of the current debilitating one, with well-paying clean energy jobs bringing employment opportunities and reduced health risks to communities where people then have the opportunity to thrive.

Want to learn more about the exciting campaigns, training programs, educational content, and climate advocacy happening at The Climate Reality Project? Sign up for our email list and be the first to know the latest climate science as well as when powerful opportunities to stand up for a better, more sustainable tomorrow arise!

climate changeclimate crisisclimate justiceenvironmental justicegrantsgranteesthe climate reality projectpartnermoneyDream in GreenSamuel DeWitt Proctor Conference Content Components:  Not in the US? In the US? .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }   .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }     The Climate Reality ProjectWait, Why is a Climate Org Talking About Racial Justice?What is Green Hydrogen and Is It a Game-Changer? Is Climate Change Really Making Weather More Extreme? Lead: This is the second in a series of four posts featuring the recipients of The Climate Reality Project’s 2021 Climate Justice for All Grants.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/increasing-awareness-cracking-climate-silence?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Increasing Awareness: Cracking the Climate SilenceTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/2SpSZgP
ipacha

8 Key Takeaways from IEA's "Net Zero by 2050" report

2 weeks 1 day ago

This May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a groundbreaking report: “Net Zero by 2050”. It details over 400 clean energy milestones set across a variety of sectors, such as transportation, electricity, and buildings.

The purpose of these milestones? Charting year by year how the global energy sector could reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. That's the clean energy goal IEA estimates would prevent warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius and, as a result, irreversible climate impacts.

Having little room for error over the next couple of decades, this roadmap to a clean energy future is immensely valuable. So, here’s eight key takeaways to consider in reaching net zero energy emissions by 2050.

1. HIT THE BRAKES ON FOSSIL FUELS

The report’s boldest, most urgent finding: no new unabated coal plants (“unabated” meaning without abating technology, such as carbon capture and storage) approved for production beginning 2021. That, and no more investment in new oil and natural gas projects.

That’s right. No more in 2021 as in, immediately.

The report goes on to suggest the phase out of unabated coal plants in advanced economies by 2030, and of all such coal and oil power plants by 2040.

2. GO ALL IN ON RENEWABLES, AND FAST

To stay on track, the annual pace of installations for solar panels and wind turbines worldwide would have to quadruple by 2030.

Also, by 2030, the world would have to have at least 633 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV and 390 GW of wind capacity. Compare that to 135 GW of solar PV and 114 GW of wind capacity in 2020 and you get a sense of the scale of change we need.  (For context, 1 GW is enough to power about 300,000 homes).

Assuming we see these changes, the report projects solar PV will be the world’s single largest source of energy by 2050. In total, having grown 20-fold compared to now.

3. GOVERNMENTS MUST LEAD THE WAY

Another can't-miss takeaway from the report is the need for governments to play a leading role in catalyzing this shift toward clean energy. Businesses and individuals have a part to play, of course, but reaching these goals will take the all-hands-on-deck approach federal governments can mobilize better than any other sector.

And it’s not just the speed and scale of transition that we need government for. It’s also to ensure that this transition is a just and equitable one that doesn’t replicate the inequities and injustices of the fossil fuel economy. As the report clearly says: “Government support would almost certainly be needed to manage these transitions in a just, people‐centered way.”

In short, IEA’s message is crystal clear: governments must act boldly, and they must act now

Here in the US, that makes passing measures like President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and a clean energy standard essential to shift our clean energy transition into high gear.

4. ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING

Running parts of the economy with cleanly-generated electricity instead of fossil fuels is a tried-and-tested tool for reducing emissions. Hence, IEA’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions electricity globally by 2040 makes a lot of sense.

By that point, electricity “should be well on its way to supplying almost half of total energy consumption,” increasingly powering buildings, industry, and transportation, among other sectors.

Notably, IEA anticipates solar PV and wind together accounting for nearly 70% of global electricity generation by 2050.
 

Our #NetZero2050Roadmap leads to a global energy system in 2050 dominated by clean energy.

Nearly 90% of global electricity generation in 2050 comes from renewable sources, with solar PV & wind together accounting for nearly 70% → https://t.co/B4lsbsBwTu pic.twitter.com/KOXBiVAmmf

— International Energy Agency (@IEA) May 22, 2021


5. TRANSPORTATION: OUT WITH GAS, IN WITH ELECTRICITY AND HYDROGEN

In the report, electric vehicles would make up 60% of new car sales globally by 2030. Compare that to just 6% today.

By 2035, sales of new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles would end and more than half of new heavy trucks would be electric.

And by 2050, virtually all cars on the roads worldwide would either run on batteries or hydrogen.

6. DON’T FORGET ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Energy efficiency plays a critical role in IEA’s pathway to net zero, making “zero-carbon-ready” an important term to understand.

Specifically, the term is used to describe a building that’s “highly energy efficient and either uses renewable energy directly, or  uses  an  energy  supply  that will be fully decarbonized by 2050, such as electricity...”

Recognizing that definition, IEA’s goals include that all new buildings should be zero-carbon-ready by 2030. And that 50% of existing buildings should be retrofitted to be zero-carbon-ready by 2040, and 85% by 2050.
 

Reaching net zero emissions by 2050 is a critical and formidable goal.

Our #NetZero2050Roadmap sets out more than 400 milestones for what needs to be done to transform the energy system & decarbonise the global economy in just three decades → https://t.co/rBIGOnOvbz pic.twitter.com/fbLupORXBV

— International Energy Agency (@IEA) May 24, 2021


7. EXISTING TECH CAN TAKE US FAR, BUT MORE INNOVATION IS NEEDED

IEA’s pathway has most reductions in CO2 emissions up to 2030 coming from existing technologies. As the report points out, that’s because the clean energies needed to make the 2020s “the decade of massive clean energy expansion” are already as cheap or cheaper than their fossil fuel counter parts.

However, by 2050 almost half of charted CO2 emissions reductions come from technologies that, while known, are still in development. Big leaps in innovation are a must by 2030 to have these technologies ready by then.

8. A GREEN ECONOMY IS A STRONG ECONOMY

The report estimates that clean energy would lift global economic growth by 0.4 percentage points annually and create 14 million jobs in the 2020s. And by 2050, up to 30 million total jobs.

The best part? IEA models universal access to electricity by 2030. That’s compared to 786 million people without access to it today.

JOIN THE MOVEMENT FOR SOLUTIONS

In the report’s own words, “It is past time for governments to act, and act decisively to accelerate the clean energy transformation.”

We couldn’t agree more. The clock is ticking, and the time for real action from governments is now.

If you’re ready to help, join the Our Climate Moment campaign and activists in Climate Reality chapters across the US working to pressure Congress to seize this historic opportunity. Chances are, there’s a chapter in your community.

Alternatively, join our activist email list today. We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments in climate policy and what you can do to help solve the climate crisis!

IEAnet zeroEVfossil fuelCoalwindsolarreportThe Climate Reality ProjectWhat Are Clean Electricity Standards?What We Want: Zero-Carbon TransportationWhat is Green Hydrogen and Is It a Game-Changer? Lead: What does the road to a net-zero emissions global energy sector look like? According to the International Energy Agency, a little something like this.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/8-key-takeaways-ieas-net-zero-2050-report?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: 8 Key Takeaways from IEA's "Net Zero by 2050" reportTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3uUzXg1
ipacha

Engaging and Empowering Communities to Fight for Climate Justice

2 weeks 2 days ago

The climate crisis is no longer a future or far-away threat that is hard to visualize. No, we see the reality of global warming virtually every day now – in everything from floods and hurricanes that have grown more frequent to droughts and heat waves that have grown more intense.

Yet, some of us see and suffer from these consequences far more than others.

Across the United States – and around the world – low-income and BIPOC communities have found themselves more squarely in the path of the climate crisis. Of course, geography alone is not the cause. Rather, we are witnessing a cycle of injustice: Initial and structural inequalities mean that marginalized groups suffer more from the effects of climate change and exposure to environmental pollution, manifesting in everything from exacerbated health problems to property destruction. This then leads to further inequity, including increased costs both financial and emotional.

By definition, these marginalized communities historically have not had agency, having been left out of the decision-making processes that led to their homes and families being put in harm’s way. But climate justice demands that these places and people become an active part of the climate conversation.

Today, we’re looking at two organizations that are working to build capacity in these communities and elevate BIPOC voices in order to engage, advocate, and organize. We are proud to support these grassroots partners in the fight for environmental justice.

One Love Global

One Love Global is a youth-led organization that works alongside local, state, national, and global leaders in the Black liberation movement, seeking to help BIPOC youth “creatively dream into the future, and carry on the work of transformative organizing for racial equity.”

“The people most impacted by injustice – BIPOC youth – must lead and inform mass movements so this transformation centers their humanity, their connection to the earth, and reflects what they need to survive and thrive,” states One Love Global, which will hold its second Freedom Summer Youth Organizing School this summer.

In the program, BIPOC youth in historically disenfranchised communities throughout Michigan learn about history, systemic inequities, civic engagement, and community organizing.

The organization points out that that current systems are not designed for equity, healing or reparations, and therefore transformative change is required. The objective is for participants to develop the skills, confidence, and connections to influence decisions affecting their lives and to move transformative change at the intersections of environmental, educational, and economic justice.

Río Grande International Study Center

Río Grande International Study Center (RGISC) also sees youth as being essential to transforming current inequities. Since 1994, RGISC has educated and organized in the community, challenging powerful interests in order to stop oil and gas projects that would harm low-income communities near the Rio Grande.
 

“In Laredo, we live directly on the US-Mexico border deep in the heart of oil and gas country where fossil fuels, environmental injustice, border militarization and racism collide,” explains the organization in a statement about its Climate Leaders on the Border project. “Income inequality prevails with more than 30% of our population living in poverty, and the Rio Grande, source of all life here, is constantly under threat.”

In recognition of the new generation of youth demanding to be heard, RGISC is working to cultivate a new generation of climate justice organizers on the US-Mexico border by helping them to establish climate justice chapters at the high school and college levels.

With the Laredo region suffering from drought and rising temperatures and an economy closely tied to the fossil fuel industry, the RGISC aims to inject essential new energy and voices into the decision-making process, ultimately calling for a just transition to renewables. 

Want to learn more about the exciting campaigns, training programs, educational content, and climate advocacy happening at The Climate Reality Project? Sign up for our email list and be the first to know the latest climate science as well as when powerful opportunities to stand up for a better, more sustainable tomorrow arise!

*/ climate changeclimate crisisclimate justiceenvironmental justicegrantsgranteesthe climate reality projectpartnermoneyOne Love GlobalRio Grande International Study Center Content Components:  Not in the US? In the US? .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }   .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }     The Climate Reality ProjectWait, Why is a Climate Org Talking About Racial Justice?Disability and the Climate CrisisOur Recovery from COVID-19 Should Prioritize Climate-Smart FarmingLead: This is the first in a series of four blog posts featuring the recipients of The Climate Reality Project’s 2021 Climate Justice for All Grants.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/engaging-and-empowering-communities-fight-climate-justice?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Engaging and Empowering Communities to Fight for Climate JusticeTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3urBRVu
ipacha

What the American Jobs Plan Means for Arizona

3 weeks 1 day ago

When you think of Arizona, you think of scenic desert landscapes and the iconic Grand Canyon.

You probably don’t think about the not-great C grade the state earned on its most recent Infrastructure Report Card from American Society of Civil Engineers. From its roads, dams, and levees to its aging drinking water and wastewater management systems, the state’s infrastructure is in dire need of widespread repair.

At the same time – Arizona, like much of the rest of the desert US Southwest, has unprecedented potential to reap the growing benefits of clean, limitless solar energy. In fact, as a state with some of the best solar resources, hardly any place is as well equipped for the renewable energy rush we need as Arizona.

Enter the American Jobs Plan, a far-reaching plan to reimagine and rebuild the US economy with more than $2 trillion in strategic investments over eight years.

The American Jobs Plan proposes a lot of big investments. In highways and bridges. In public transit and electric vehicle support. In efficient housing and weatherization. In clean energy and an updated grid. And so much more.

Here’s what all that means for the people of Arizona:

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What You Can Do

Together, we can build a cleaner, greener, healthier future for communities across Arizona and around the country.

It starts with joining your local Climate Reality chapter.

Everyday Americans are joining Climate Reality chapters and working together for practical climate solutions in communities from sea to shining sea. These friends, neighbors, and colleagues are making a real difference for our climate when it matters – and you can too.

Join a Climate Reality chapter today and be part of the fight for a sustainable future.

climate changeclimate crisisArizonaAmerican Jobs PlanjobsClean EnergyinfrastructureExtreme Weatherdroughtrenewable energysolarwindweatherizationhousingefficiencyEnergy EfficiencyThe Climate Reality ProjectThe American Jobs Plan Is the Plan We’ve Been Waiting ForLet's Talk about Sacrifice ZonesWhat the American Jobs Plan Means for PennsylvaniaLead: Making sure bold climate action remains essential to the American Jobs Plan will benefit Arizonans in countless ways.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/what-american-jobs-plan-means-arizona?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: What the American Jobs Plan Means for ArizonaTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/34l9pKf
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What the American Jobs Plan Means for Pennsylvania

4 weeks 1 day ago

Pennsylvania has a reputation.

Of course, the Keystone state is well-known for many great things. As one of the first US colonies, it has a long and rich history, including as the place where both the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were signed. Philadelphia serves up the best cheesesteaks on the planet, and you’d have to travel all the way to Poland to find better pierogis than Pittsburgh-ers enjoy on the regular.

(Recently, PA accents have also become a cultural talking point – though we regret to inform Saturday Night Live that “jagoff” is a Pittsburgh term, not a Philly one!)

But the reputation we’re talking about today isn’t so awesome. Pennsylvania has become known to residents and visitors alike as the natural habitat of the pothole.

The state earned a dreadful C- grade on its most recent Infrastructure Report Card from American Society of Civil Engineers. From its roads and bridges to its waterways and aging wastewater management systems, the state’s infrastructure is in dire need of widespread repair.

Enter the American Jobs Plan, a far-reaching plan to reimagine and rebuild the US economy with more than $2 trillion in strategic investments over eight years.

The American Jobs Plan proposes a lot of big investments. In highways and bridges. In public transit and electric vehicle support. In efficient housing and weatherization. And so much more.

That could mean big things for the great state of PA.

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What You Can Do

Together, we can build a cleaner, greener, healthier future for communities across Pennsylvania and around the country.

It starts with joining your local Climate Reality chapter.

Everyday Americans are joining Climate Reality chapters and working together for practical climate solutions in communities from sea to shining sea. These friends, neighbors, and colleagues are making a real difference for our climate when it matters – and you can too.

Join a Climate Reality chapter today and be part of the fight for a sustainable future

climate changeclimate crisisPennsylvanianatural gasjobswindsolarrenewablesAmerican Jobs PlanweatherizationefficiencycareerswarmingCoalThe Climate Reality ProjectRegenerative Agriculture and Municipal Climate Action PlansThe American Jobs Plan Is the Plan We’ve Been Waiting For3 Big Myths about Natural Gas and Our ClimateLead: Pennsylvanians, put down your Wawa (or Sheetz! We’re not looking for a fight!) hoagie and listen up: The American Jobs Plan is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/what-american-jobs-plan-means-pennsylvania?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: What the American Jobs Plan Means for PennsylvaniaTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3hAaiq4
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Al Gore to lead online, English and Spanish-language training for Latin American climate activists

1 month ago

May 17, 2021 — From July 10-18, The Climate Reality Project will host the 47th Climate Reality Leadership Corps training, an online program for aspiring climate champions in Latin America.  

Led by former US Vice President Al Gore, the virtual training will connect climate activists across Latin America and equip them with the knowledge and tools needed to build an inclusive and equitable movement for climate action. The training will be offered in both Spanish and English, and registration is now open through June 13.  

“The climate crisis is already impacting the people of Latin America, but the promise of climate action and the transition to a sustainable economy in the region is enormous,” said Al Gore. “I’m excited to bring together activists and advocates at the Climate Reality Project’s Latin America Virtual Training and to grow our community of leaders who are driving change across this critically important region.”

While Latin America is responsible for less than 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the region is among the most vulnerable to the climate crisis. With rising temperatures contributing to devastating wildfires in the Amazon, threatening Indigenous peoples, and exacerbating other political, economic, and social challenges, the need for urgent action couldn’t be clearer. 

The good news is that leaders and advocates across Latin America are already proving climate solutions are critical to building a healthier, more prosperous future. The dynamic growth of wind and solar power in Chile is an important example of the economic power of clean energy. Innovation in urban infrastructure, sustainable agriculture, and conservation is a transformative force in cities and communities across the region. As voters look ahead towards nine national elections later this year, they will have a critical opportunity to chart a new course and push leaders for bold policies to accelerate a green recovery, protect frontline communities, and create an equitable and inclusive future for all. 

Through live, pre-scheduled, and on-demand sessions, the Latin America Virtual Training will examine topics such as forests and regeneration, land defenders, the perspectives of indigenous peoples, and climate solutions in our hands today. Participants will learn how they can effectively mobilize their communities in support of climate action and make a difference in the fight for a healthy, just, and sustainable future. 

“Climate Reality is thrilled to build upon the success of 2018’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Mexico City by bringing our movement to communities across Latin America,” said Natalia Lever, director of The Climate Reality Project in Latin America. “The climate crisis is one of the greatest threats we face, and it’s up to us to work together to solve this challenge. We encourage anyone who cares about protecting our environment, ensuring the health and safety of families, friends, and neighbors, and building more equitable communities to join us at this training.”
 
Upon completion of the training, participants will join Climate Reality’s global network of more than 33,000 activists around the world, including artists, businesspeople, opinion leaders, entrepreneurs, citizens, and students dedicated to bold, ambitious climate action.  Later this year, Climate Reality plans to host a virtual training for the global community to mobilize action ahead of the COP26 summit. 

Registration for the Latin America Virtual Training is now open to those over the age of 16 with an interest in climate activism. While the training will focus on issues specifically relevant to Latin America and the Caribbean, anyone from anywhere in the world is welcome to attend. All attendees will need a device with Internet access to participate. 

To apply, please visit climaterealityproject.org/latam.

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ABOUT THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT
Founded by Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is working to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society. With a global movement more than 5 million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Reality Leader activists, we are spreading the truth about the climate crisis and building popular support for clean energy solutions. For more information, visit www.climaterealityproject.org or follow us on Twitter at @ClimateReality.

Email Subject: Al Gore to lead online, English and Spanish-language training for Latin American climate activists
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Not Just Sea Level Rise: How the Climate Crisis is Changing Our Oceans

1 month ago

Carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas is warming our planet and driving climate change. It’s throwing natural systems out of balance – to often devastating effect.

In few places are these changes more evident than our oceans. But when you think of the climate crisis and the ocean, it’s likely one impact springs immediately to mind and towers above all others: sea-level rise.

And that’s fair: our oceans are absorbing more than 90 percent of the increased atmospheric heat associated with human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, and according to NASA’s satellites and buoy data, seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3.9 inches (9.8 cm) since 1993.

With nearly 40 percent of the US population living in coastal areas as of 2014, and many of the world's  most populous cities sitting on or near a coast, sea-level rise represents a truly existential threat. Indeed, researchers at Cornell University estimated that by the year 2100, 2 billion people – about one-fifth of the world’s population – could be forced to leave their homes due to rising ocean levels.

>> Learn more about the climate migration crisis and how you can help. <<

But sea-level rise is just one of many ways our oceans are changing because of rising global temperatures. And in many cases, the results are far more grievous right now than the destructive nuisance flooding that has become a bellwether of the far-more-serious inundation to come as our seas rise thanks to melting land ice and the thermal expansion of warming water.

Our oceans cover more than 70 percent of the surface of our planet. We rely on them. For food. For jobs. For recreation. And the nearly 30 percent of the Earth that is land relies on them too. To power the weather that makes life possible. To keep temperatures stable in northern latitudes. To provide a travel route for vital goods and services. And so much more.

That’s why it’s so important that we act urgently to cut the greenhouse gas emissions driving the climate crisis and transition to an economy powered by clean, renewable energy. Will you join us?

Warm Waters = Powerful Storms

Warm water is the lifeblood for tropical storm systems. How strong a storm gets and how fast it strengthens depends largely on how warm the waters are along its path.

And while there’s little evidence to suggest that climate change alone actually creates more hurricanes, there is abundant information indicating our changing climate is supercharging more and more of the ones that do form.

It’s vital here to also remember that a hurricane is more than just its winds – it’s a major rainfall event accompanied by dangerous storm surge. And both of those impacts increase right alongside climbing wind speeds because A) higher temperatures evaporate more water from the surface of our oceans and B) warmer air holds more moisture.

The result: More water falling from above and more coming in from the ocean, hitting the coast harder and harder from both directions. And with rapidly strengthening tropical storm systems becoming more and more common in recent years, people can be under-prepared for the true intensity of the actual hurricane that makes landfall, potentially resulting in greater damage and even loss of life.

Acidification

Our oceans are an incredible carbon sink — they absorb at least 25 percent of the carbon dioxide humans produce every year (some studies suggest it’s even more than that). But this is changing sea surface chemistry dramatically: when carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, it dissolves to form carbonic acid. The result, not surprisingly, is that the ocean becomes more acidic, upsetting the delicate pH balance that millions and millions of organisms rely on.

Since the Industrial Revolution, our seas have become about 30 percent more acidic, a rate not observed in 300 million years. This has a wide range of consequences for marine ecosystems, as well as for the billions of people who depend on the ocean for food and survival.

One ocean ecosystem, in particular, has gotten the lion’s share of news coverage related to ocean acidification: coral reefs.

Coral Bleaching

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the future of coral reefs around the world for a few reasons – and you just got a taste of both.

So as our oceans become warmer and more acidic, coral reefs are suffering.

Coral reefs depend on the colorful algae that live throughout their nooks and crannies to survive. But when it becomes stressed by warmer and more acidic waters, coral expels this algae and turns white – a phenomenon known as “coral bleaching.” Bleaching weakens the coral and it may begin to starve.

Corals, which are rigid animals that shelter rich ecosystems, can recover from bleaching events. But persistent high temperatures and other environmental stressors like acidification make it more likely they will starve and die.

Climate models project that most of the world's reefs – including the famed Great Barrier Reef – could experience annual bleaching by 2050 if we don’t take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.

And that’s very bad, because keeping coral reefs healthy and growing is vital. Reefs protect our coastlines from erosion and flooding, host vastly productive ecosystems, and support local coastal economies through tourism and fisheries.

Indeed, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), coral reefs in the US and its territories provide $3.4 billion in ecosystem services, including protection from storm surges and destructive waves, employment, tourism, and fishing.

Fishing and Seafood

Changes in our oceans doesn’t just threaten marine ecosystems. They also put pressure on human food systems and affect the livelihood of people who depend on the ocean for their income.

Fish are an essential protein source for 3.2 billion people, particularly those living in developing countries in the tropics, where fish can make up as much as 50 to 90 percent of animal proteins in the diets of residents.  But warming waters are changing where some species live, and as they swim toward cooler waters, they leave behind communities and economies that truly depend on them.

“The main risks for fisheries and aquaculture are reasonably well understood: A number of marine species, depending on their mobility and habitat connection, are responding to climate impacts by shifting their distributions poleward and to deeper waters,” according to a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Beyond this, warming and acidification have impacts on marine animals themselves. Changes in ocean chemistry mean some shellfish won’t be able to develop shells properly, and that harmful algae blooms – already causing problems in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean – will grow rapidly. Many are also worried that changes in our oceans will mean a decrease in phytoplankton, an impact that would have a truly dire trickle-down effect.

“When there’s less plankton at the base of the food web, there’s going to be less fish,” Lisa Levin, a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told Inside Climate News.

What You Can Do

When the world gets warmer, the results impact real people’s lives. It’s a truth that too often gets lost amid data points and science jargon, late-breaking news, and heated political handwringing. But we must not let it.

Warming oceans mean powerful storms. They mean dying coral and dwindling or shifting fish populations. They mean lost livelihoods and hungry bellies. They mean migration – and all that comes with it.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We don’t need to adapt to a dangerous new normal; we can address the root cause of the problem. Right now. And that means ending our reliance on fossil fuels.

Together, we can build a cleaner, greener, healthier future for communities around the world. Click here to learn how.

Climate Reality is always working on new, informative, and accessible content that lays out the science and stakes of the crisis, as well as the solutions available right now that can turn the tide. Download our latest e-book, Where We’re Going and How We Get There Together, to discover more about this unique moment of possibility for our movement and how we can achieve a better, more sustainable future for our planet.

Just fill out the form below for your free copy and get started.

oceanseaSea Level Risehurricanetropical stormacidificationcoralcoral bleachingfishingecosystemscoastclimateclimate changeglobal warming Content Components:  Not in the US? In the US? .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }   .ngp-form { width: 100% !important; margin: 0 auto; overflow: hidden; display: block; } .form-wrapper-everyaction p{ max-width: 900px; width: 95%; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; margin: 0px auto 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .form-wrapper-everyaction a{ color:#0000ff; text-decoration:underline; } .ngp-form label { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } .at-title { display: none; } .at-markup.HeaderHtml { display: none; } legend.at-legend { display: none; } label.at-text{ color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-check.SmsSubscribeMobilePhone { margin-top: 20px; } input.at-submit.btn-at.btn-at-primary { width: 95%; color: #fff; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 20px; text-transform: uppercase; background-color: #000; } .at-markup.SmsLegalDisclaimer.at-legal { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .ngp-form span.text { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } span.at-checkbox-title { font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px !important; display: block; text-transform:uppercase; } .ngp-form p { font-size: 12px; color: #333333; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: 'Merriweather', serif; } .at textarea { max-width: 100%; resize: vertical; height: 150px; } /*CUSTOM FIELD*/ /*Contact Us Primary*/ label.at-select.CustomFormFieldQuestion_2649406423609171.multi-select { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; } label.at-area.CustomFormFieldQuestion_5324604673045499_MappedParagraphQuestion_8337956061043365 { color: #333333; font-family: BrandonGrotesque-Black; font-size: 16px; text-transform: uppercase; }   The Climate Reality ProjectHow Feedback Loops Are Making the Climate Crisis WorseWhy Is Marine Energy the Wave of the Future?Regenerative Agriculture and Municipal Climate Action PlansLead: Sea level rise is just one of many ways our oceans are changing because of rising global temperatures.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/not-just-sea-level-rise-how-climate-crisis-changing-our-oceans?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Not Just Sea Level Rise: How the Climate Crisis is Changing Our OceansTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3bnDmx7
ipacha

Let's Talk about Sacrifice Zones

1 month ago

The climate crisis does not impact all communities equally – a fact that’s been made crystal clear as too many low-income communities and people of color now face not just stronger storms and more lethal heatwaves, but compounding crises from air pollution to COVID-19.

You don’t have to look far to see environmental injustice in action. In the US, it’s there in communities living with fracking rigs in their backyards and breathing dangerous air pollution every day. It’s there in neighborhoods split by oil and gas pipelines or entire towns whose water is contaminated with lead. It’s clear: things can and must change in these places where community health is sacrificed in the name of profit.

What are sacrifice zones?

Sacrifice zones can be best described as places where fenceline communities where residents – usually low-income families and people of color – live in proximity to polluting industries or military bases that expose them to all kinds of dangerous chemicals and other environmental threats.

One well-known example of a sacrifice zone is Cancer Alley in Louisiana, a stretch of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge that got the nickname because of its concentration of dangerous petrochemical facilities. One community in Cancer Alley has a risk of cancer 50 times the national average, the highest in the country. While studies and information about how dangerous this pollution is have been available for years, more and more facilities continue to open in the area.

No surprise, systemic racism plays a huge role in the geography of sacrifice zones. Research shows polluting plants are more likely to be built in areas where people of color live. The result, new studies show, is that industries responsible for 75 percent of air pollution hurt communities of color more. Tellingly, this statistic doesn’t change even across rural and urban areas or across income levels, meaning that in the US, Black and Latino Americans on average breathe in significantly more pollution than Whites.

Exposure to this kind of pollution in sacrifice zones and beyond in turn combines with other factors to deepen inequity and racial injustice. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, people of color have suffered disproportionately greater impacts than White Americans. Many factors contribute to this disparity, from more Black and Latino Americans holding jobs that can’t be done remotely to the health impacts of climate change that also disproportionately affect people of color – including lung disease, asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

The bottom line here is that sacrifice zones and the pollution they expose residents to are part of the larger pattern of systemic racism and injustice we see in the US. Where, as Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor notes in the New Yorker, “Black people are poorer, more likely to be underemployed, condemned to substandard housing, and given inferior health care because of their race.” Where Latino families earn a little over half of what White families do and have a poverty rate 2.6 times higher than Whites.

What’s the difference between fenceline communities and sacrifice zones?

Fenceline communities are communities that are next to a company, industrial, or service facility and are directly affected in some way by the facility’s operation (e.g. noise, odor, traffic, and chemical emissions). Most of those living in fenceline communities in the United States are low-income families and people of color.

What makes sacrifice zones different is that they are the geographic area that the fenceline communities live in. The sacrifice zone refers to the location the fenceline community calls home or resides in.

What can you do to help those living in sacrifice zones?

Around the United States and world, many living in sacrifice zones live with high levels of pollution and environmental degradation. But how can we help them?

As a grassroots movement for environmental justice, we have an obligation to stand up against Big Polluters and industries that are disproportionally impacting communities of color and fueling the climate crisis.

There are moments of progress though – many incredible local activists from these sacrifice zones have used their personal experiences to bring attention to this critical issue and advocate for our leaders to act. Groups like Black Millennials for Flint, RISE St. James, and CIDA Inc. are working hard to bring light to the environmental injustice happening in their communities.

What it comes down to is putting people over polluter profits. It’s really that simple. No more sacrificing human health and countless lives to build new petrochemical or power plants that will only continue to harm our communities and our planet.

Join the fight for climate justice

Want to join us in the fight for climate and environmental justice? Across the US and world, real people are facing disproportionate climate impacts – but you can learn how to advocate for change.

Our grassroots movement with more than 30,000 Climate Reality Leaders, chapter members, employees, and activists are ready to act – and you’re welcome to join us.

Join our Climate Reality email list and we’ll keep you posted on upcoming events including trainings, webinars, and how you can help solve the climate crisis.

Sacrifice zoneenvironmental justicejusticeracial justicepollutionThe Climate Reality ProjectEnvironmental Racism: What It is and How You Can Fight It3 Black Activists Who Changed the MovementWhat We Want: Climate Justice and Healthy CommunitiesLead: It’s clear: things can and must change – and it’s time for sacrifice zones to receive some much-needed justice. facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/lets-talk-about-sacrifice-zones?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Let's Talk about Sacrifice ZonesTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/3eFCB4y
ipacha

Setting the Record Straight on Green Hydrogen

1 month 1 week ago

With the climate crisis looming large over our future, our world is increasingly turning to technology to decarbonize our economies and lifestyles.

One technology that’s gaining momentum around the world is “green hydrogen” – hydrogen fuel produced using renewable energy to power the electrolysis of water. The hydrogen fuel created from this process can then be used as a carbon-free power source, or feedstock in other processes. 

While green hydrogen development is a reality (carbon-free fuel is not too good to be true!), we should keep a close eye on how this market is being developed, and particularly the companies currently driving the conversation around it. Their and our shared definitions of the words “green” and “clean” might be a little different.

In January of 2021, Climate Reality published a blog detailing how green hydrogen is produced and why it could be a game-changer in the sprint to decarbonize our world. And it’s true: green hydrogen technology offers some incredible emission reductions benefits, particularly in hard-to-electrify industries that require high-intensity energy like aviation, shipping, manufacturing, and long-distance trucking.

But as we watch companies announce more and more hydrogen projects, we need to remember – not all hydrogen fuels are created equal.

Blue, Brown, and Gray

Most of the hydrogen currently in use is produced using fossil fuels.  A color-based naming system is generally used to describe how the hydrogen is produced: in addition to “green,” “brown,” “blue,” and “gray”  are the main types.

Brown hydrogen is produced using coal. Both gray and blue hydrogen are produced using natural gas, with blue hydrogen using carbon-capture storage technology. 

Brown, gray, and blue hydrogen still perpetuate the environmental injustices associated with coal and natural gas extraction, harming frontline communities who are overwhelmingly Black, Brown, and Indigenous. And brown and gray hydrogen, in particular, still flood our atmosphere with climate-warming methane. 

But through industry greenwashing, these carbon-intensive hydrogen fuels have hopped on truly green hydrogen’s back to be touted as “clean” and “sustainable,” allowing environmental injustices to persist.

The conversation around hydrogen’s many colors and technologies is enough to make your head spin.

Clean vs. Green: What Does It All Mean?

Let’s keep it simple: any project that relies on the use of fossil fuels is not a solution to the climate crisis or environmental injustice.

In terms of hydrogen fuel, for hydrogen to truly be green hydrogen, it must be produced using 100 percent renewable electricity. There can be no use of fossil fuels as a feedstock or energy source.

When we advocate for the development of green hydrogen, this is the only definition we can use. We must stick to this definition and use it to debunk any attempts at industry greenwashing.

The conversation around hydrogen as a “clean” source of fuel can also be a confusing too and is worth elaborating on because many industry groups use the term “clean” to reference natural gas-based projects (which are hardly “clean”).

Natural gas is currently cheap (though its prices fluctuate) and abundant due to a supply glut, so industry groups often seek to incorporate natural gas into developing projects, despite its greenhouse gas emissions and the increasing cost-competitiveness of renewables.

Gray and brown hydrogen are not clean, never have been, and never will be. They use fossil fuels – natural gas and coal, respectively – to produce hydrogen and do not capture any carbon in the process.

However, the industry especially likes to tout blue hydrogen projects that depend on fossil fuels as “clean” based on their use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, a process of using technology to capture greenhouse gas emissions before they are released into the atmosphere and storing them underground

While CCS technology is indeed a tool we should look to research and develop further in our efforts to combat the climate crisis, we cannot depend on it to capture all emissions from blue hydrogen products. Right now, CCS technology is far from scale and underground storage capabilities are still being studied. For these reasons, we must advocate for only truly green hydrogen, the production of which emits no greenhouse gases in the first place.

Greenwashing And Red Flags

Like any technology, hydrogen fuel itself is not without its concerns. There are safety risks associated with the use and storage of hydrogen. It is highly flammable and is lighter than air, making it dangerous if not handled properly. There are rigid safety protocols in place for its handling, and it is important that these procedures continue to develop and evolve as the industry grows.

It is also important to note that many corporate polluters are behind the wheel in guiding the development of hydrogen technology. Big Polluters and fossil fuel companies serve on the steering committee of the Hydrogen Council.

With fossil fuel interests having such a large seat at the table in the current hydrogen conversation, we need to be highly critical of emerging hydrogen projects to make sure they are truly green and fossil-free. When climate “solutions” come from Big Polluters with a history of harming communities for corporate profit, we think it’s fair to take a look at everything they are doing with a magnifying glass – but that’s just us.

One tactic the industry is currently using  is advocating for blue and gray hydrogen infrastructure development, while at the same time claiming that green hydrogen can easily be swapped in later as it comes online. However, given the shrinking window of opportunity to address the climate crisis and the dire need to advance environmental justice, we should ensure that the development of the green hydrogen market doesn’t involve prolonging the use of fossil fuels.

Natural gas has shown higher levels of market volatility than renewable energy too, and it faces risk due to the increasing likelihood of nationwide emissions pricing in the US (emissions are already priced in several states and countries). This combination of volatility and increased regulation means that the blue or gray hydrogen plants of today could quickly become tomorrow’s stranded assets. At the same time, some natural gas power plants are also already experiencing economic challenges due to competition with cheap renewables, offering further proof that the industry continues to put the five and 10-year plan ahead of the 20 and 25-year plan.

This kind of shortsightedness has an impact on countless communities, leaving ratepayers and taxpayers on the hook for failed investments.

Keep Our Eyes on the Prize

Green hydrogen technology is rapidly developing, but the majority of hydrogen in production and use today still comes from fossil fuels. The technology required to produce green hydrogen is complex, energy intensive, and currently fairly expensive, so it is important that we do not lose sight of the current imperative to decarbonize and electrify, develop renewable energy, and build a regenerative economy.

(Truly) green hydrogen is just one small part of what it will take to have a just transition.

We must continue to work to electrify every sector we can, while ensuring that the electricity come from renewable sources. Green hydrogen can fill some of the gaps in sectors of our society that are very difficult to electrify, including short-distance aviation, long-distance trucking, and industries like steel production. And we must also look to green hydrogen to decarbonize the current hydrogen market, which mainly consists of fertilizer production, metalworking, and fuel blending, among other things.

But technology alone isn’t the full answer here – it never is.

We should always be wary of promises of silver bullets in the climate fight, but particularly when they seek to preserve the way things are. Because the status quo isn’t working, and it never has and never will – in the climate movement or outside of it.

If we want to create a better, more-just world, we must change the way we do, well, everything – right now. There’s no time to waste. It starts with centering the voices and lived experience of frontline and fenceline community leaders and environmental justice advocates. As we work together to end our global reliance on fossil fuels and beat the climate crisis, the communities experiencing the impacts of pollution and climate change first and worst are those best prepared to lead us out of the toxic fog  – and deserve to be key players in the emergent renewable energy economy of tomorrow.   

How To Make Sense Of This?

Amid the greenwashing, the many colors of hydrogen, and the complicated technology, your head may be spinning. You may be wondering, “Is green hydrogen even a hope for the future?” To that, we answer: yes, do not lose hope.

We just need to be highly cautious about its development. As technology improves, we can be optimistic that carbon-free hydrogen could become a valuable tool in helping us shift away from fossil fuels and toward the renewable energy economy we need.

But we also need to make sure that we don’t let our faith in still-developing technologies distract us from the very real work we need to be doing today to build a sustainable future together – one rooted in climate and racial justice.

To learn more about solutions to the climate crisis and connect with passionate advocates in your community, join your local Climate Reality chapter.

climate changeclimate crisishydrogengreen hydrogenindustryGreenwashingbluegrayBrownClean Energysolarrenewablesfossil fuelsThe Climate Reality ProjectRegenerative Agriculture and Municipal Climate Action PlansWhat is Green Hydrogen and Is It a Game-Changer? 3 Big Myths about Natural Gas and Our ClimateLead: Green hydrogen development can be a tool to decarbonize our world. But industry misinformation and entrenched, unjust power systems muddy the waters on how we make hydrogen a fuel that is compatible with our emissions reduction and climate justice goals.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/setting-record-straight-green-hydrogen?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Setting the Record Straight on Green HydrogenTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/2RHx2cC
ipacha

What Are Clean Electricity Standards?

1 month 1 week ago

For decades, states throughout the US have implemented clean electricity standards (CES) to diversify their energy supply, create green jobs, improve public health, and reduce planet-warming emissions. Crucially, all while maintaining access to reliable and affordable electricity.

Having seen these standards work across the country, members of Congress are now exploring a national CES to slash emissions and create jobs at a much bigger scale. That, and to fight the environmental injustice that fossil fuels perpetuate in communities from coast to coast.

But what exactly are clean electricity standards?  What’s been their impact so far and why do they show so much promise for our future?

WHAT IS A CLEAN ELECTRICITY STANDARD? AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Though details vary from state to state, all clean electricity standards share the same primary goal: replacing electricity from dirty fossil fuels with zero-emission electricity from renewables and other sources.

How? By requiring utilities to produce a certain percentage of their electricity using clean energy sources like wind and solar by a target date. For example, a state that heavily uses coal or natural gas today could aim to produce at least 50% of their electricity using renewables by 2030, and then 100% by 2050.

On top of setting this kind of targets, these standards often create a market for trading clean energy credits. It works like this: If one utility produces more clean electricity than it’s required to, it can sell the credit of having produced it to other utilities who may have not produced the required clean electricity

These marketplaces provide utilities with some flexibility in meeting their individual clean energy targets while still increasing the overall use of clean energy throughout a state.

Now, there’s a chance you’ve heard of renewable portfolio standards (RPS): a policy similar to CES that’s often mentioned in the same conversation on energy transition. What’s the difference between the two?

Renewable portfolio standards function was to increase deployment of low carbon emitting technologies, increase renewable capacity, and decrease emissions. They often reflect the energy reality of the state in which they are implemented which is why you may see natural gas, or coal with carbon capture and sequestration, included in an RPS. There is some debate on the efficacy of RPS, mostly as it relates to electricity price increases. Clean energy standards are technology neutral and focus specifically and totally on emission reduction. In this way they are more efficient in reducing emissions.

Overall, however, both CES and RPS policies strive to accomplish the same goal: increase the use of clean energy sources, that ultimately, lead to decreases in emissions.

A (VERY) BRIEF HISTORY OF CLEAN ENERGY STANDARDS

In 1983, Iowa became the first state to establish a renewable portfolio standard, requiring two utilities to own or to contract power from renewable energy sources.

Skip a handful more standards enacted later to 1999, and Texas — a state virtually synonymous with fossil fuels — set its own clean energy goals.

Fast forward to today, and 29 states and the District of Columbia have established their own clean electricity requirements.

As the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions describes, that includes “a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) adopted by 29 states and the District of Columbia, which require a certain percentage of a utility’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources” and “a clean energy standard (CES) adopted by seven states, which requires a certain percentage of a utility’s electricity to come from renewable or alternative energy sources.”

HAVE THEY MADE A DIFFERENCE?

CES and other similar renewable energy-supporting policies have found great success all around the country.

For examples of singular states, let’s look at Iowa and Texas. These are states which, as previously mentioned, were early enactors of clean energy standards.

In 2020, about 42% of Iowa’s electric net generation came from wind — far above the national average. And in the same year, Texas led the nation in wind by producing about 28% of all US wind-powered electricity.

And yes, one might point out that that those are just two states, and that their success is also  attributable to factors like the plummeting price of renewables and other policies like production tax credits — but research shows that at the national level, CES undoubtedly helped.

According to a 2015 study by Lawrence Berkley National Labs, state clean energy standards drove 62% of new renewable energy generation and 58% of new capacity from 2000 to 2014. Similarly, a report in 2018 found that from 2000 up to then, 52% of the 140 GW of renewable capacity was at least partially motivated by RPS policies.

In short, state level CES-style policies have been a game-changer for clean electricity and renewable energy growth. So what’s next?

LOOKING FORWARD: A NATIONAL CLEAN ELECTRICITY STANDARD

Today, electricity production accounts for a quarter of all US carbon emissions.

That proportion of our carbon emissions is expected to grow rapidly as we power more and more of our lives with electricity (Think everything from increasing our use of electric stoves to heating buildings with electricity instead of natural gas to transitioning our most emissions intensive sector — transportation — completely over to electricity).

If our future is electric, which appears to be the case more year after year, then cleaning up our electricity is going to be vital in cutting our carbon emissions.

And yes, we’re headed in the right direction. But just one-fifth of our electricity today is being produced using renewables, and we’re just not decarbonizing the sector fast enough. Not if we’re to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and avoid catastrophic warming.

We need a cohesive and ambitious national Clean Electricity Standard.

Fortunately, the Biden Administration recognizes that to make real progress on our health, economic, and racial injustice crises, we need a national clean electricity standard that helps:

  • Clean up and protect our air, land, and water.
  • Create millions of good green jobs (to be specific, an increase of 500,000 to 1 million more good-paying jobs in the energy sector this decade, and up to 2.2 million in the 2030s).
  • And bring much-needed justice to low-income and minority communities suffering the disproportionate impacts of fossil fuel pollution.

The best part? Clean electricity standards are already a popular idea.

As independent polls like from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication demonstrate, over two-thirds of voters support the federal government pushing toward 100 percent clean power by 2035.

Clearly, clean electricity is both what the people want and what will help the United States meet this critical moment. For justice, for our planet, and for our future. 

JOIN THE MOVEMENT FOR SOLUTIONS

With policies like CES on the rise, a sustainable future is in sight. But we cannot take it for granted. Now more than ever, at this time of immense opportunity, the climate movement needs us.

Learn what you can do to support a brighter future for the US and our planet in our free e-book Where We’re Going and How We Get There Together.

Within the downloadable PDF, you’ll discover the key policy solutions, such as a national clean electricity standard, that can help carry the US to a net-zero carbon pollution economy by 2050. That, and learn how you can help us get there!

Clean electricity standardutilitiesrenewable energyThe Climate Reality ProjectWhat We Want: A Just Transition to Clean EnergyWhat is Green Hydrogen and Is It a Game-Changer? What We Want: Zero-Carbon TransportationLead: Since the 1980s, clean electricity standards have helped US states prevent millions of tons of fossil fuel pollution. And now, being considered at a national scale, these policies could play an even bigger role in combatting the climate crisis and environmental injustice.facebook link: ?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: What Are Clean Electricity Standards?Twitter URL: ?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=general
ipacha

Equity and Adaptation: Florida Rising

1 month 2 weeks ago

As the challenges of the climate crisis increase, so does the urgency of developing truly equitable adaptation plans . While Black, brown, and Indigenous communities contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions, they are living with the harshest climate impacts.

The long history of land theft, segregation, and redlining that gained momentum in the 1930s has also placed communities of color in areas that face the greatest flood and hurricane risk, higher temperatures and energy bills, and destruction of Indigenous farm land to name just a few impacts. To confront these threats, we need to engage a diverse electorate of voters to consider the impact of climate change from a racial equity lens.

A New Approach to Outreach

Recognizing that those who face the brunt of the climate crisis are the real experts in the lived experience of climate change and should be part of adaptation planning, Florida Rising Together – formerly New Florida Majority Education Fund – launched a new kind of climate justice outreach program.

This initiative targeted communities in Duval, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties and aimed to collaborate with members of these communities to share the narrative of their experience with climate change. In order to promote language justice and serve Florida’s diverse demographics, it was a key priority that in the first phase, all materials were available in three languages: English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.

Addressing the Disconnect

This approach highlighted the all-too-common disconnect between scientific jargon used to describe the climate crisis, the lack of racial and cultural diversity in the space, and the absence of community-specific daily challenges in the conversation. To address this, we organized virtual events with open and honest community conversations, including webinars on the climate crisis, climate justice, extreme heat, gentrification, and food insecurity using the newly crafted materials.

Developing this program highlighted numerous gaps in public discussions of climate justice and a strong need for conversations on the social and racial inequities in the climate change space. We know t hose impacted first and the worst by the climate crisis include Black, brown, and Indigenous communities. As we see it, members of these communities must be included in the climate conversation, seen as experts on the threats they live every day and educated on the local policies and safeguards available, or lack thereof, to help protect their neighborhoods.

One of the biggest lessons of this program is that when we listen to and incorporate community input, we can build trust and foster honest conversations that help build and encourage success. To put it simply, when the local community is part of the process, there is greater engagement and participation.

Highlighting the Importance of Equity

This experience also stresses the importance of equity in spaces discussing climate threats. While acknowledging the historical extractions and oppressions these communities are still facing, it is critical that each community be accounted for based on their needs, their challenges, and their participation in the planning process.

Addressing these challenges calls for ongoing collaboration and solidarity. It also calls for acknowledging that not all communities are impacted by the climate crisis the same way and a single solution approach will not fix all climate threats.

Lastly, we need to work together to build a path forward for equitable climate adaptation. It starts by leaning into movement building, creating a new narrative oriented toward culture change, and organizing at a new scale.

To learn more about Florida Rising’s work and team, visit floridarising.org.

floridaequityjusticeeducation. outreachThe Climate Reality ProjectClimate Change and Florida: What You Need to KnowWhy the Climate Movement Has to Be an Equity MovementBuilding an Equitable and Inclusive Climate MovementLead: At Climate Reality, we’re fortunate to work with talented partners leading the fight for climate justice across the country. This month, we’re excited to showcase the work of Florida Rising in the guest post below.facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/equity-and-adaptation-florida-rising?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Equity and Adaptation: Florida RisingTwitter URL: https://bit.ly/2SlvOV7
ipacha

How Is the Climate Crisis Impacting South America?

1 month 2 weeks ago

It’s hard to make too many sweeping statements when you’re talking about a continent as massive as South America, home to the soaring peaks of the Andes, the lush rainforests of the Amazon basin, and the stunning formations of the Atacama Desert. Not to mention a population that reached over 430 million people in 2020, according to the UN.

But here’s one we can safely make: Climate change will transform the continent and life on it for many. From more frequent flooding events to megadroughts and vanishing water supplies, the consequences of rising temperatures could have devastating outcomes for South America – and the people who call the region home.

But the good news is that we have the tools to fight back. Let’s take a look at what South America faces, and how we can all play a role in solving this crisis.

The Amazon is burning

In the summer of 2019, wildfires raged across the Amazon rainforest, capturing international attention and sparking outrage. And while these fires were startling in their scope, research indicates that they may have been just a preview as Amazon wildfires could become more common – and even more devastating. That’s because as the climate becomes hotter and droughts become more frequent and more severe, wildfires are expected to become larger and more damaging as well.

This is especially concerning because Amazon fires not only destroy the rainforest home to Indigenous peoples and countless wildlife and plant species – they actually accelerate climate change. The Amazon is a vital carbon “sink,” meaning that it takes in massive quantities of carbon dioxide and emits relatively little by comparison. Except when it doesn’t.

The result is a one-two punch that both reduces the number of carbon-absorbing trees in the world, and releases the carbon in the trees as they burn. It's one of the reasons that protecting the Amazon from deforestation and fires is so important.

Water is life

There’s another reason that scientists are deeply concerned about what climate change means for South America. Because vital water sources are, well, disappearing.

In 2014, the key water reservoirs for São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, dipped below 10% thanks in part to drought. Scientists believe that an increased frequency of droughts of a similar magnitude will make this type of crisis more likely, putting the drinking water for millions of people at risk.

And it’s not just Brazil. Peru faces water scarcity issues due to multiple factors, including the climate crisis. So does Colombia.

And in Bolivia, the country’s second-largest lake has completely disappeared, with the changing climate and too much irrigation as the most likely contributors.

Researchers believe the decade-long drought afflicting parts of South America, including Chile and Western Argentina, is in part the result of rising ocean temperatures driven by climate change.

But while the climate crisis will mean damaging droughts and water crises for some, it may also be driving extreme flooding events for others. As temperatures have risen globally, researchers have found rainfall totals increased in countries including Paraguay, Uruguay, and southeast Brazil. In Rio de Janeiro, climate-fueled floods in 2013 set off landslides through populated areas. And in 2011, Bogota saw three times its typical rainfall, triggering dangerous floods that forced the evacuations of hundreds of buildings.

While any flood can be dangerous, they can be especially dangerous for people living in packed urban centers. Even more so for poorer residents like the 1.5 million living in Rio’s famed densely populated favelas.

Disappearing glaciers

Inland from these coastal cities, the glaciers of the Andes mountains are also feeling the impacts of the climate crisis. As temperatures rise, these vital glaciers are rapidly melting, leaving the communities that rely on their runoff for the water they drink — and the water that feeds farms and creates hydroelectric power and more — in a dangerous position.

From 2000 – 2016, the Andes glaciers in Peru shrank by about one-third. And in parts of the Andes, glaciers are losing about three feet of thickness each year.

In total, the Andes have lost more of their glaciers (relative to their size) to the climate crisis than any other mountain range on Earth.

And it’s happening in every part of South America. Patagonia’s glaciers are melting the fastest, and account for about 83% of glacial loss in South America. But even smaller patches in Colombia and Venezuela have seen melt off too.

The impacts of this melting are seen both locally and on a global scale.

Disappearing glaciers puts water supplies for both small towns and major cities in real danger. Experts estimate that 4 million people, including those in large cities like La Paz, are at risk of facing water shortages driven by shrinking glaciers in the future.

And all the water trapped in these melting glaciers has to go somewhere. So where does is it go? Into our rising oceans. Glacial melting is a major source of rising sea levels, meaning that what starts in the Andes won’t stay there. We’ll all feel the impacts of South America’s shrinking glaciers.

Indigenous communities bear the burden

As the Amazon experiences continued deforestation and droughts, the lush areas that have long sustained Indigenous communities could become increasingly dry, presenting a potentially existential threat to the people who have called the region home for centuries or more. In Guyana, some Indigenous communities have already begun to abandon their savannah homes as drought strikes.

There’s a particular cruelty to this, as the millions of Indigenous people living in South America did next to nothing to cause the climate crisis. In fact, the knowledge and expertise found within these communities offers crucial opportunities to combat this emergency. But if bold action isn’t taken, their way of life may forever be altered.

Rewriting the books on tropical cyclones

For hundreds of years, hurricanes were known to have seven primary basins, where residents became used to dealing with tropical cyclones and buildings are often built with these storms in mind. And as our climate changes due to fossil fuel pollution, stronger and more severe storms are becoming more common in those basins. But something else has happened too: the South Atlantic has begun to witness occasional hurricane-force storms for the first time.

In 2004, for the first time on record, a hurricane-force storm came ashore in Brazil. Driven in part by high water temperatures, Hurricane Catarina came as a shock to the world. But the storm would not be the last to hit the South Atlantic basin.

In the years that followed Catarina, several other powerful cyclones have formed in the south Atlantic. While most of these systems thankfully remained below hurricane strength and avoided land, they serve as a powerful reminder about the dangers of warming ocean waters.

More volatility means more migration

These changes aren’t just about natural systems: millions of people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. And experts predict that the devastating effects of the climate crisis will drive many in South America to leave their homes in search of safer conditions.

A main contributing factor is the continued development of massive metropolitan areas known as megacities. An estimated 86% of South Americans live in urban areas, meaning that resources are needed in high quantities in hyperlocal areas. As climate-fueled droughts threaten farms and water supplies dry up, urban areas could start facing issues of real food and water scarcity.

Naturally, when these threats arise, people living in urban centers may decide to do what anyone would: look for a more secure life somewhere else.

As the World Meteorological Organization puts it: “The increase and intensity of sudden onset natural hazards such as droughts, extreme temperatures and heavy rains are likely to be the most immediate impacts of climate change on cities, linked with mobility. The urban population in South America is concentrated in areas of high vulnerability to environmental and climate hazards.”

But as with most aspects of the climate crisis, the need to migrate will not be felt equally. Poorer communities are expected to be hit hardest. They’re less likely to live in homes able to weather extreme storms and floods, less likely to be able to have the resources to deal with more frequent disasters, and more likely to face instability during instances of scarcity.

Ultimately, the urban poor of South America may be most at risk for the worst impacts of the climate crisis. And they may face the hardest choices about migrating.

We can still change course

When we talk about the climate crisis, we’re not talking about the future. As the  spike in extreme weather and climate events show, the crisis is here.

The question is whether we do everything we can to turn the tide and prevent the worst effects of this crisis, or whether we stand by and let it happen.

We know where we stand. And we hope you’ll stand with us.

That means getting involved and taking action – and we’re here to help.

This July, Climate Reality is offering our first-ever online climate advocacy training for Latin America. Presented in Spanish and English, this free training is your opportunity to join the Climate Reality Leadership Corps to make a difference in your community.

Registration is open now! Sign up to learn how you can help drive real climate action.

Climate crisis South AmericaSouth America droughtSouth America floodsSouth America glaciersclimate change South AmericaAmazon wildfiresThe Climate Reality ProjectThe Climate Crisis is Hurting Latin America – Take Action Now To Stop ItHow the Climate Crisis is Affecting Central AmericaWhy Protecting the Amazon is Critical to Solving the Climate Crisis. Lead: Devastating fires in the Amazon. Lakes disappearing in Bolivia. Water scarcity in São Paulo. Melting glaciers in Patagonia. South America is already feeling the impacts of the climate crisis. But it’s not too late to act. facebook link: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/how-climate-crisis-impacting-south-america?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: How Is the Climate Crisis Impacting South America?Twitter URL: https://bit.ly/3aN7kdt
ipacha

Climate Change and Migration – What Should the US Do?

1 month 3 weeks ago

Recent news reports have been filled with stories about the increasing number of unaccompanied children arriving at the southwest border of the US. Coming mainly from Central America to seek asylum in the US, these children have left their home countries for a variety of reasons. Among them: two hurricanes of historic strength that devastated the region in 2020.

In both sudden-onset disasters, such as hurricanes, and slow-onset disasters, such as drought, we see the clear footprint of climate change. We’ve observed increases in the severity and in some cases the frequency of destructive events like these. That said, it is rarely possible to attribute a person’s decision to migrate solely to climate impacts like these, in no small part because natural disasters tend to compound other issues, including violence, corruption, poverty exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, and food insecurity.

But studies have found that climate is almost always an exacerbating factor in migration. And it’s a relationship that will only grow stronger with time. In an analysis from last year, The New York Times Magazine projected a rise in levels of migration every year regardless of climate change – but a much steeper rise in a continually warming climate, with over 30 million migrants moving toward the US border between now and 2050 in the most severe climate scenarios.

Governments can address the root of the climate problem by lowering the emissions driving the crisis, thus mitigating this driver of migration. But just as important, governments must begin to prepare for waves of climate-related migration. Indeed, The New York Times Magazine warns of “the staggering human suffering that will be inflicted if countries shut their doors.”

So, what can the US, which is responsible for a large portion of the greenhouse gas emissions driving the climate crisis around the world, do to ensure a humane response to climate-exacerbated migration that will minimize suffering and disruption?

Refugee Status

The international community has debated expanding the definition of the term “refugee” to encompass the growing number of people displaced by climate-related events or circumstances. According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, refugee status is currently afforded to those who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on one or more of five elements: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.

There are two reasons why this definition, understood narrowly, does not account for those affected by the impacts of climate change. First, most climate displacement globally is internal. Second, the definition does not explicitly recognize consequences of climate change, such as natural disasters or years of agricultural failure due to drought, as forms of persecution.

Understood more broadly, the existing refugee definition can serve as an important way to help those who have factored climate change into their decision to migrate.

Internal displacement is sometimes just the first step of an incremental process that leads to cross-border migration. In addition, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) points out that, over time, slow-onset climate disasters such as desertification that are confined to only one area of a country may eventually become more widespread, making internal relocation impossible.

Climate change also often intersects with the grounds for protection recognized under the Refugee Convention. In its Watchlist 2021, which outlines the most pressing humanitarian crises occurring today, the International Rescue Committee identifies conflict as the “common factor driving persistent crisis in nearly all Watchlist countries” and highlights climate change as a consistent “threat multiplier.”

The UNHCR recognizes this intersection. In October 2020, it produced legal guidance for interpreting refugee claims in the context of “adverse effects of climate change and disasters.” 

Though this guidance does not change the legal definition of refugee, it does provide detailed discussion of the ways in which the climate crisis relates to the types of persecution that qualify an individual for refugee protection. For example, marginalized groups may have a well-founded fear of persecution under the Refugee Convention in the event of food or water scarcity, where the state is unwilling or unable to provide access to those resources in a non-discriminatory manner.

Refugees International is urging the Biden Administration to include this guidance in training for officers of the Refugees, Asylum, and International Affairs Operations Directorate (RAIO) of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the US government unit that determines eligibility for refugee status on a case-by-case basis.

Asylee Status

Refugees represent only a small piece of the puzzle in an appropriate US response to growing climate-related displacement, particularly when you consider the level of migration expected in a warming world.

Those arriving at the southern border of the United States will not become refugees. If permitted to stay in the US, they will be considered “asylees.” The key distinction here is that refugee status is sought and granted abroad and refugees who are resettled through the US Refugee Admissions Program receive assistance in traveling to the US. Asylum, in contrast, is sought and granted from within the United States or at a US port of entry.

There are links between refugee and asylee status, however. Under US law a person is eligible for asylum if they meet the definition of a refugee, meaning that their eligibility stems from persecution on the basis of the same five categories. These claims are also adjudicated by USCIS RAIO. Thus, Refugees International’s proposal to train USCIS RAIO officers in considering the links between explicitly recognized forms of persecution and climate change could benefit those seeking international protection both abroad and from within the US.

Other Solutions

The US has other mechanisms available to it for addressing climate-related migration.

One is Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which is granted to individuals from designated countries in the aftermath of environmental disaster and other temporary conditions. TPS status does not include a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship, which means that TPS-holders may be stuck with temporary status indefinitely as slow-onset climate disasters continue to evolve and prevent them from returning home. Refugees International suggests creating a pathway to permanent status for those who have held TPS for a certain number of years.

In addition, new legislation might directly address the plight of those migrating in response to climate change. On April 22, 2021, US Senator Ed Markey (MA) and US Representative Nydia Velázquez (NY) reintroduced a bill that calls for allowing at least 50,000 “climate-displaced persons” to be admitted to the US each year, with the possibility of admitting more depending on a presidentially determined cap similar to that established for the admission of refugees. Importantly, the bill allows a person to apply for this status in the US or abroad, and allows a successful applicant to receive the same benefits as a refugee, which includes access to public benefits such as food stamps.

Sen. Markey and Rep. Velázquez’s proposed legislation is supported by a number of refugee resettlement agencies and non-governmental refugee advocacy organizations.

These approaches and others like them could help to fill in the gaps of the existing refugee and asylee programs. It may take a combination of solutions to adequately address the migration challenges we will face because of the climate crisis. We may not all agree on what these solutions should be, but we know that preparation is essential to mitigating the worst consequences of climate change and climate-related migration.

So, let’s start putting some plans into action.

Climate Reality is always working on new, informative, and accessible content that lays out the science and stakes of the crisis, as well as the solutions available right now that can turn the tide. Download our latest e-book, Where We’re Going and How We Get There Together, to discover more about this unique moment of possibility for our movement and how we can achieve a better, more sustainable future for our planet.

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How to Double Your Impact This Earth Day

1 month 3 weeks ago

Happy Earth Day!

We don’t know about you, but we feel so full of hope today, seeing the world coming together on this day of action for our planet. But as our founder and chairman, former Vice President Al Gore always says, to make real change, every day must be Earth Day.

Cutting global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and holding global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is no small task. It will take all of us, every day, keeping the pressure on our leaders.

We’re heartened to see thousands of climate activists coming together online today for Day One of our Climate Reality Leadership Corps Virtual US Training. But our work is far from done. To change everything, we need everyone.

We need your help to train even more grassroots leaders, expand our organizing footprint, and keep the pressure on key decision-makers at this important moment. And even with our Earth Day match live, we haven’t reached our critical goal.

Today, while all gifts are still being generously doubled in a rare match opportunity, will you donate to continue powering the crucial work of solving the climate crisis?

Over the next few weeks, our newly trained climate activists will learn the truth about the climate crisis and the solutions available today – and gain powerful tools to use while advocating for the change we so desperately need. They are absolutely vital to the fight to save our planet. But we cannot continue training new activists and building our ranks without the support of people like you, on critical days like this.

For a limited time, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $20,000. With your support, we can train more leaders to give more presentations, write more letters to representatives, speak out at more town hall meetings, and pressure lawmakers to put more climate change solutions first.

Now – while we still have the chance.

earth daymatching gift challengematching gifthow much will the Earth warmactivismThe American Jobs Plan Is the Plan We’ve Been Waiting ForWhere We’re Going and How We Get There Together (Free Download)Why We Need a Bold US NDCLead: To make real change, every day must be Earth Day.
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