California’s Governor Brown signed the “Climate and Community Revitalization” bills – SB535 and AB1532. Together, they set up a system for allocating revenues from auctioning allowances under California’s new market-based effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and they mandate that a significant share of those resources be invested in the Golden State’s most environmentally burdened and socially disadvantaged communities. As legislators, regulators, and local governments look for exactly how and where to allocate these funds, they can look to new research on grassroots organizations that know how to get this work right.
For a week, AlterNet posted vignettes on organizations across California from our new report Facing the Climate Gap: How Environmental Justice Communities are Leading the Way to a More Sustainable and Equitable California. Each organization is dealing with the “climate gap” – the disproportionate burden of climate change on vulnerable communities. These organizations are working with small staffs on tight budgets to tackle some of our most pressing environmental burdens while governments and political leaders are debating implementation.
Our reading of this data? The communities most affected by the climate gap are creating solutions that can and should be scaled up – with the future of the planet at risk, it may be time to support these efforts and forge a bottom-up approach to tackling both climate change and the climate gap.