The Just Transition Alliance is adding an
environmental justice perspective to the debate around climate change solutions.
The evidence is overwhelming: climate change
will change our all of lives dramatically. But the harmful effects won't be
shared equally. They are most devastating to people in urban centers, coastal
regions and those dependent upon subsistence fishing. These populations, in the
United States and across the globe, are overwhelmingly people of
But the world's poorest people and people of
color have been largely left out of the discussion about adapting to a world
affected by disruptive climate change. And not only are they unequally affected,
they also have the fewest resources to deal with the effects.
These communities are often already burdened
with poor air quality and the corresponding health effects, including asthma and
other respiratory illnesses. Rising temperatures means more extreme events of
every kind-drought, storms, hurricanes, tornados, forest fires, and deadly heat
waves. This is why it's so critical that people who will be harmed the most get
a voice in finding solutions to global climate change.
advocate for policies and programs that protect the most vulnerable
communities of our country and demanding action to create a just
transition to a clean, renewable energy economy and future.
We're also part of the Environmental Justice Climate Change
initiative, a diverse group of U.S.
environmental justice, climate justice, religious, policy, and advocacy networks
working together to promote a climate policy based on justice. Until recently,
the national and international debate didn't consider the disproportionate harm
of global climate disruption on Indigenous Peoples who face losing more of their
land and People of Color in the inner city as well due to rising air
pollution contributing to greater rates of asthma and other chronic
Real solutions- not
The Just Transition Alliance has helped
create a position opposing carbon trading. We're showing why false solutions
like offsetting carbon from vehicles by planting trees, and making fuels from
food crops only benefit the fossil fuel industry.
Under carbon trading programs, energy
companies and others that release greenhouse gases can either agree to reduce
their carbon emissions or buy the right to keep polluting. First these polluters
make money by causing the climate crisis, and then turning around and claiming
to solve it- while profiting! In some cases, genetically engineered trees are
planted as "offsets". But they not only threaten local biodiversity, but also
cause displacement of indigenous communities and undermine their
We are also advocating broadening the
discussion around green jobs beyond sustainable energy jobs to include the
greening of chemical manufacturing, janitorial, farmwork, and much more.