Climate Research and Resources
In October 2002, hundreds of activists converged in Washington, D.C. for the largest and most diverse gathering of environmental justice leaders ever in the United States: The Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, or Summit II. Coming from all over the country and the world, these activists gathered to build on the victories and strengthen the roots of their movement. On the second morning of the gathering, the Summit Planning Committee took the stage for the day’s opening plenary with an audience of more than 1400 people. Just as the session was about to start, a group of mostly young people streamed into the room, wielding signs and chanting “No Justice, No Peace!” They were greeted by applause from the entire audience, including those onstage. Seconds later, the protesters themselves took the stage and surrounded the plenary table, making it clear that the Planning Committee was the target of their protest. While some committee members recognized what was coming, others were surprised to be the focus of this mobilization. A large number of the youth attending the Summit had organized to present carefully crafted demands to the Planning Committee, which Introduction Introduction was mostly (but not entirely) adult led. The protesters were partly insisting on more equitable inclusion and support of youth in the environmental justice movement. However, like much youth organizing, the demands were not limited to youth-specific issues. They addressed much broader concerns, such as the tension between professional/academic and community-based leaders in the movement.
NO REDD! is a reader, a collection of articles written by REDD Monitor, Global Justice Ecology Project, Honduran Garifuna Organization, Diego Alejandro Cardona,Tatiana Roa Avendaño, World Rainforest Movement, Carbon Trade Watch, Bria, ETC Group. Indigenous Peoples participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate negotiations and other the UN Convention on Biological Diversity are in the frontlines of a power structure that minimises the importance of indigenous cosmologies, philosophies and world views. These power structures reside within the UN process and prop up inequalities found in industrialised countries, the more developed of the developing countries, the World Bank and financial institutions. These powerful actors have economic systems that objectify, commodify and put a monetary value on land, water, forests and air that is antithetical to indigenous understanding. Indigenous peoples, North and South, are forced into the world market with nothing to negotiate with except the natural resources relied on for survival.
Senate Bill (SB) 375, adopted in 2008, calls on regional transportation planning agencies and local governments to develop strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by reducing per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Three specific strategies, traditionally used to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, are to be employed to help reduce emissions: Higher-density development, particularly in areas well-served by transit; Investments in alternatives to solo driving, such as transit, biking, walking, and carpooling; and Pricing policies that raise the cost of driving and parking. Although SB 375 is expected to reduce emissions only modestly relative to vehicle efficiency standards and low-carbon fuels, it is also expected to improve public health and reduce energy and water use by encouraging denser development and more “livable” communities. The integration of these three approaches is consistent with an emerging research consensus that policies integrating all three strategies have a much greater chance of reducing VMT than any one approach on its own. This report reviews the opportunities and challenges of each of these strategies and assesses California’s recent experience and future prospects for successfully integrating them.
Proposition 23, an initiative appearing on California’s November 2010 general election ballot, would suspend the implementation and operation of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, better known as AB 32, until state unemployment rates remain at or below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. That level has been reached three times since the state began compiling these statistics in 1976. AB 32 requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a reduction of approximately 30 percent from projected business-as-usual levels for the same year. During a period of suspension under Proposition 23, state agencies would not be able to “propose, promulgate, or adopt any regulation implementing” AB 32. In addition, the regulations adopted prior to suspension would be made “void and unenforceable” during the suspension period. The proponents of Proposition 23 argue that implementation of AB 32 will raise energy prices and reduce employment and, therefore, should be suspended until the state’s economy is more robust. They contend that Proposition 23 will benefit California by temporarily delaying expensive and burdensome greenhouse gas reductionmeasures, while allowing those measures to move forward in the future, when the California economy improves.
California’s clean energy and clean air standards could save the average household up to $670 in 2020 if oil and natural gas prices spike, according to a new study by three economists. The U.S. economy has experienced five price shocks in the last 30 years when crude oil prices rose an average of 179% in just one year. This study analyzed how much more Californians would pay if wholesale crude oil and natural gas prices doubled at the start of 2020 and stayed there for a year. “No study has calculated the benefits of AB 32 in the event of an energy price shock,” said James Fine, economist for Environmental Defense Fund and one of the report’s authors. “This study uncovers massive potential savings, and shows how the state’s landmark policy will protect California’s economy from unpredictable events, such as hurricanes and wars, that cause energy prices to jump.”
The Urban Land Institute released an SB 375 Impact Analysis Report which says that SB 375 could "accommodate growth in ways that are economically sound, environmentally responsible, and socially beneficial." ULI, a developer-backed research group with 30,000 members worldwide, released the report at a TOD Marketplace event in Los Angeles. The report finds that SB 375 will "help California meet the shifting market demand for housing, allocate public resources more efficiently, and ensure a better quality of life."
This sixth report from the Working Group on Climate Change and Development argues that our chances of triumphing over climate change will rise dramatically if we recognize that there we need not one but many models of human development. The report describes how the costs and benefits of global economic growth have been very unfairly distributed, with those on lowest incomes getting the fewest benefits and paying the highest costs. A wide range of examples of more positive approaches are given from the wide, practical experience of the agencies in the coalition. Altogether they paint a picture of more qualitative development that is not dependent on further global over-consumption by the already rich, in the hope that crumbs of poverty alleviation are perhaps passed to those at the bottom of the income pile. Other Worlds are Possible notes that difference between success and failure in the international climate negotiations will be whether governments and financial institutions continue to support old, failed economic approaches, with their policy frameworks and our financial resources, or whether they will move to encourage and replicate new approaches that take account of our changed economic and environmental circumstances. This timely report makes the case in compelling terms that there is not one model of economic development; there are many.
To successfully address the climate crisis, we must also identify and address the deep root causes that link it to the myriad other crises we face— economic, militarism and war, as well as the intertwined crises of food, water and biodiversity loss. These crises are unified by their common roots in an economic system that encourages banks and corporations to ignore ethical and moral considerations and gamble with the Earth, peoples’ lives, and our collective futures in the service of higher profits. To paraphrase neoliberal economic pioneer Milton Friedman, ‘the corporation cannot be ethical. It’s only responsibility is to make a profit for its shareholders.’ Successfully addressing climate change will require a fundamental restructuring of our society that, if thoughtfully done, can lay a new foundation that will simultaneously help us achieve both global justice and ecological balance.
What we used to think was tomorrow’s climate crisis is here today. Heat waves, wild fires and floods are making headlines more often. What hasn’t made headlines—yet—is the climate gap: the disproportionate and unequal impact the climate crisis has on people of color and the poor. Unless something is done, the consequences of America’s climate crisis will harm all Americans—especially those who are least able to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the worst consequences. This analysis is of California, which in many ways is a microcosm of the entire United States. Climate change is an issue of great importance for human rights, public health, and social fairness because of its profound consequences overall and the very real danger that poor neighborhoods and people of color will suffer even worse harms and hazards than the rest of Americans. This “climate gap” is of special concern for California, home to one of the most ethnically and economically diverse populations in the country.
The purpose of this study is to examine the national security consequences of climate change. A dozen of the nation’s most respected retired admirals and generals have served as a Military Advisory Board to study how climate change could affect our nation’s security over the next 30 to 40 years—the time frame for developing new military capabilities. The specific questions addressed in this report are:
1. What conditions are climate changes likely to produce around the world that would represent security risks to the United States?
2. What are the ways in which these conditions may affect America’s national security interests?
3. What actions should the nation take to address the national security consequences of climate change?
Understanding causes and impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from food and agriculture can help you make choices to protect the environment. And what’s better for the environment is often better for your own health. Red meat and dairy are responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions from food for an average U.S. household.
• Almost 1/3 of world human-caused GHGs are estimated to come from agriculture and forestry.
• Livestock production alone is responsible for an estimated 18% of world GHGs, more than the contribution of transportation, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Seeing People Through the Trees: Scaling up Efforts to Advance Rights and Address Poverty, Conflict and Climate Change
Despite fifty years of effort, few development interventions in forest areas have worked in favor of either the forest dwellers or the forests. A new approach and urgent action are needed. In this paper, we argue that recognizing and strengthening the property rights of forest communities is the first and most important step towards avoiding impending social and political collisions and establishing the sound institutional footing needed for social and economic development in forest areas. W e also argue that with robust and proactive steps, climate change and the global response to it can be converted from a major threat to a major opportunity to address these challenges. Action on rights and governance will also produce benefits not otherwise possible and yet critical at national, regional and global levels.
REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE AND
Effectively solving the climate crisis demands that the mitigation and adaptation measures we employ align with a justice agenda that improves the circumstances of poor people, people of color, women, and children. If we fail to make synergistic efforts to protect the planet and lift up the most vulnerable among us, we are doomed to recreate an unsustain-able system that demands little of those with the most to give and the most of those with little to spare. Our mission is to construct a new economic and political system that is both sustainable and just. Women, who have and will continue to bear an increasingly disproportionate share of the climate change burden in coming decades, are central to the success of this mission.