Environmental Justice and Climate Change

As the world seeks to slow climate change, market-based strategies to reduce carbon in the atmosphere are increasingly in the realm of public debate. Often missing from the discussion is the fact that carbon emissions are typically accompanied by more harmful pollutants—referred to as “co-pollutants”—which have more localized impacts. Thus, depending on how and where carbon emissions are reduced, there is potential for policy efforts to slow climate change to yield “co-benefits” for public health and have a positive effect on patterns of environmental inequality.

This work explores environmental justice and health implications of policy strategies designed to achieve carbon reductions, including the market-based strategy embedded in California’s climate law, AB 32. It has engaged the environmental justice community along with researchers and other experts to discuss the implications of different climate change policies and assess their potential outcomes. Funding has been provided for this by the Hewlett, Annenberg, and Energy Foundations.



Equity Issue Brief: Advancing Environmental Justice Through Sustainable Planning

by Manuel Pastor, Madeline Wander, Mirabai Auer

December 2012

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Facing the Climate Gap: How Environmental Justice Communities are Leading the Way to a More Sustainable and Equitable California

By:Ellen Kersten, UC Berkeley
Rachel Morello-Frosch, UC Berkeley
Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California
Marlene Ramos, Columbia University

October 2012 

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Minding The Climate Gap: What's at Stake if California's Climate Law isn't Done Right and Right Away

By Manuel Pastor, Rachel Morello-Frosch, James Sadd, and Justin Scoggins
April 2010

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The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans & How to Close the Gap

By Rachel Morello Frosch, Manuel Pastor, Jim Sadd, and Seth Shonkoff 
May 2009

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Cooling the Planet, Clearing the Air: Should climate policies give extra credit for maximizing short-term health benefits?

by James Boyce and Manuel Pastor

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