Environmental/Climate Justice

Gendered and Racial Impacts of the Fossil Fuel Industry in North America and Complicit Financial Institutions

This report finds an indisputable connection between the fossil fuel industry’s practices and negative impacts to African American/Black/ African Diaspora, Indigenous, Latina/Chicana, and low-income women’s health, safety, and human rights in the U.S. and parts of Canada. Specifically, fossil fuel-derived air, water, and soil pollution impact women’s fertility, mental health, and daily work and responsibilities. The negative effects from fossil fuel activity—including extraction, storage and transportation of coal, oil, and gas often in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG)—stem from direct pollution of communities by fossil fuel companies’ contributions to industrial carbon dioxide and methane. The climate crisis does not and will not affect everyone equally, as factors such as gender, race, and socio-economic status make certain communities significantly more vulnerable to the increasing threats of climate change. Global inequalities, rooted in structural patriarchy, colonialism, white supremacy, and capitalism, continue to place people of the global majority, and specifically women, at risk.

Engage in the Climate Revolution

There are infinite ways to engage in the climate revolution—this site can help people find new ways to take action. Some of the Climate Resilience Project’s favorite climate solutions include: collective care, ecological restoration, economic regeneration, community adaptation, cultural strategy, people power, and relationship repair. For example, “people power” includes components such as cross-movement building, fossil fuel resistance, inside-outside strategy, and participatory budgeting. This site describes each. Also, read the book, Climate Resilience, which features 39 transformative short essays edited from interviews with women, nonbinary, and gender-expansive climate leaders, and highlights practical, place-based solutions that advance climate change mitigation, adaptation, and justice all at once.

Climate Change in the American Mind: Climate Justice, Spring 2023

Americans are largely unfamiliar with the concept of “climate justice,” but support the goals of climate justice and key climate justice policies when they learn about them. 81% of voters support creating more parks and green spaces in low-income communities and communities of color. 77% of voters support strengthening enforcement of industrial pollution limits in low-income communities and communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by air and water pollution. 75% of voters support developing a national program to train people from low-income communities and communities of color for new jobs in the renewable energy industry. 53% of voters support the goals of climate justice after reading a brief description of the concept.

Campaign Lessons from the Fight for the Green New Deal

The Sunrise Movement paired the big, inspiring demand of the Green New Deal with specific instrumental campaigns to move forward over a long campaign arc. Sunrise took action in opportune moments to bring attention and grow support for the GND cause. This exclusive PowerLabs webinar with Dyanna Jaye, a co-founder of Sunrise Movement, covers Sunrise’s campaign for a Green New Deal from its launch in 2018 through the 2020 General Elections, with special focus on the planning and analysis that informed action. Campaigns are a sequence of activities that build towards a shared goal. Good campaigns feel empowering, have a clear strategy, and welcome the agency and creativity of people to participate. Good campaigns transform what is possible in our societies. Before the 2018 midterm elections, climate change ranked low in priorities for the Democratic Party, and any plans the party may have had were wildly insufficient to measure up to the scale of the crisis we face. Sunrise Movement and newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez launched the Green New Deal in late 2018. The movement maintained a popular campaign behind the demand through the 2020 General Election that mobilized an army of young people, transformed the conversation on climate policy, and made the crisis a top and unavoidable political issue.

Supporting grassroots justice-oriented activists around the world: A year’s worth of learnings

The emerging picture of the most-often cited challenges grassroots groups are facing currently includes: 1) Help with building intersectional narratives and coalitions to link struggles together; 2) Activist safety & security in repressive environments; 3) Maintaining activist engagement and working together efficiently in groups; 4) How to secure funding for grassroots organizing and how to report impact; 5) How to build effective strategy within non-hierarchical structures; 6) Managing burnout among activist communities & collective care. The Global Grassroots Support Network is a collection of 84 seasoned grassroots organizers, campaigners, coaches and more. The Network supports struggles for climate justice, reproductive justice, LGBTQIAS+ rights, housing justice and workers’ rights. These members currently come from: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, the U.S., UK and Zimbabwe. If you’re excited by the mission of supporting grassroots justice-oriented activists, the Network has lots of room for new members and you can commit the amount of time that is accessible to you, and the input that supports your mission.

How Americans Are Reacting To The Maui Wildfires

Americans are making the connection between natural disasters and climate change and support urgent action on environmental issues. 37% of Americans believed that the recent wildfires in Maui are primarily the result of climate change, while a similar share (36%) said these events just happen from time to time, and 21% said they weren’t sure. But under those topline numbers, there’s a big partisan divide. According to the poll, 63% of voters who supported President Biden in 2020 think that the recent wildfires in Maui are primarily the result of climate change, while the same share of Trump voters just think these things happen from time to time. Most Americans agree that the weather across the U.S. has gotten weirder — and in some cases, deadlier — over the past few years. According to an Ipsos poll conducted in April, two-thirds (67%) of respondents agreed that unusual weather for the season has gotten more frequent in their area than compared to 10 years ago, and a solid majority (60%) thought the weather has also become more intense.

Environmental + Climate Justice Syllabus

The goal of the Environmental and Climate Justice Syllabus is to assemble readings, articles, case studies, and biographies from key writers, scholars, and activists working for environmental freedom. The emphasis, here, is to generate a searchable and citable list of Black, Indigenous, and/or Latinx individuals, organizations, and movements which are indispensably foundational in the continued fight for environmental and climate justice. Just Environments Lab are also expanding the syllabus to represent more non-US/non-Global North scholars. They also provide a few resources from allies whose work is deeply engaged throughout the syllabus.

2022 Climate Solutions Narrative Trends

Continuing the trend from 2021, of articles that quoted or referenced a person, a majority of them quoted a woman. While coverage of natural disasters still dominated many headlines in our 2022 sample, it somewhat lessened in intensity from the previous year. For example, in the water vertical, 59% of articles in 2021 mentioned natural disasters compared with 45% in 2022. The “positivity gap” among the different issue areas lessened, compared to 2021. At the state level, implementation of plans outlined in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act are in full swing, with elements of the legislation appearing in all three verticals, from EV systems to investments in water infrastructure. Coverage trends across issue areas show the federal government has acted on climate change and climate solutions, but also that states, communities, and advocates are calling for more and better effort and investment. As in 2021, articles in our 2022 sample that mentioned communities of color were more likely to focus on solutions than articles that contained no mention of communities of color. In 1,220 articles that referenced communities of color, 52% included solutions, compared with 46% in solutions-focused articles that did not mention communities of color.

Climate Change and Public Health: Building More Resilient Communities

The effects of climate change on public health couldn’t be clearer. The 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 2010. In fact, 2022 marked the eighth year in a row that average global temperatures were 34 degrees higher than pre-industrial (1850-1900) average temperatures. Rising sea levels, compromised air and water quality, and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events all speak to the stark reality that the climate is changing. Drought and excessive rainfall offer stark examples of how climate change affects public health. This can lead to rising prices, which can exacerbate food insecurity and lead to malnutrition. Air pollution can cause temporary irritation to the eyes and respiratory tract and trigger asthma attacks. However, air pollution can have much longer-lasting health effects as well: Once in the bloodstream, these harmful substances can circulate through the whole body, causing inflammation, suppressing the immune system, and disrupting the ability of biological systems to detoxify. Severe storms, such as hurricanes and blizzards, pose immediate dangers to affected communities. Compared to an average of two heat waves occurring every year in the 1960s, today, an average of six occur every year. Education, preparation and monitoring, identification and monitoring, and climate adaptation and resilience plans are key to responding to climate public health threats.