Environmental/Climate Justice

Climate and Environmental Justice Block Grants

Climate and Environmental Justice Block Grants provide $3 billion in competitive, 3-year grants to states, Tribes, and municipalities and community-based nonprofit organizations for financial and technical assistance to address clean air and climate pollution in disadvantaged communities. Activities that benefit disadvantaged communities to confront and overcome persistent climate pollution challenges, including: Community-led air and other pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation, investments in low- and zero-emission and resilient technologies, and related infrastructure and workforce development that help reduce; greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants; Mitigating climate and health risks from urban heat islands, extreme heat, wood heater emissions, and wildfire events; Climate resiliency and adaptation, including nature-based solutions; Reducing indoor toxics and indoor air pollution; Facilitating engagement of disadvantaged communities in state and federal public processes, including facilitating such engagement in advisory groups, workshops, and rulemakings. Eligible recipients include: A community-based nonprofit organization; a partnership of community-based nonprofit organizations; a partnership between a Tribe, a local government, or an institution of higher education and a community-based nonprofit organization.

New US climate report says land theft and colonization amplify the climate crisis for Indigenous peoples

Indigenous self-determination is a key climate solution — if the federal government can get behind it. The latest National Climate Assessment cites a 2021 study that concluded that Indigenous peoples in the United States lost 99 percent of their territories through colonization, and that the lands that they were forced to move to face higher wildfire risk and worse drought than their traditional homelands. According to the authors, Indigenous peoples across the continental U.S. and its island holdings hail from more than 700 tribes and communities, and while each community has a different relationship with the federal government, all share similar experiences of colonization through stolen land, cultural assimilation, and persistent marginalization. The report also detailed problems with the National Flood Insurance Program, a federal insurance program managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that helps homeowners insure against the risk of flooding, something that many insurance companies won’t cover. The program is supposed to help communities mitigate flood risk, but the report found that its implementation in Native communities has been flawed and ineffective.

Federal Climate Funds for Communities

This page contains memos and report relevant to state and local organizing and implementation regarding recent US federal climate laws. After years of campaigning and compromise, the US now has 3 major federal investment packages signed into law - the Inflation Reduction Act (2022), the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (2021), and the American Rescue Plan Act (2021) as well as Federal commitments to environmental justice through the Justice 40 Initiative. Now, the key is implementation - letting communities decide how these funds will be used and building power at the state level to get the funds to communities. Memos on this page include: "Inflation Reduction Act: Wins & Harms," "How IRA money flows to communities," and "What does the Inflation Reduction Act mean for organizers at the state level?" among others.

The Journey of Justice40

This episode, hosts talk to environmental justice (EJ) activists and federal policymakers about President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which directs 40% of the overall benefits of climate investments toward disadvantaged communities. This episode explores the decades of organizing that led to this moment, and what it will take now to fulfill the promise of the Justice40 Initiative. Special guest host Nikayla Jefferson is back for this episode! She speaks with former People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo) Executive Director Rahwa Ghirmatzion; Evergreen Action policy lead Rachel Patterson; and Shalanda Baker, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), who leads the agency’s Justice40 implementation.

How does climate change threaten where you live? A region-by-region guide.

The Fifth National Climate Assessment, released on Tuesday by the Biden administration, is unique for its focus on the present. Like previous versions, it looks at how rising temperatures will change the United States in decades to come, but it also makes clear that the rising seas, major hurricanes, and other disastrous consequences of climate change predicted in prior reports have begun to arrive. The effects are felt in every region. The report outlines steps every level of government can take to combat the climate crisis. And it takes stock of progress that has been made over the past four years. Despite this progress, climate impacts — oppressive heat domes in the Southeast that linger for weeks on end, record-breaking drought in the Southwest, bigger and more damaging hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, wildfires of unusual duration and intensity along the West Coast — are accelerating. The Grist staff, located all over the country, reviewed the assessment to provide you with the most important takeaways for your region.

A One Year Reflection: The IRA's Impacts on Latino/a/e Comunidades

The GreenLatinos Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Anniversary Enuentro is an event dedicated to celebrating the successes and acknowledging the shortcomings of the IRA in delivering environmental justice in nuestras comunidades. These PDF slides include lots of information about IRA provisions' potential impacts on Latino/a/e communities in the US. Further, see a webinar link to a discussion of these provisions.

Scaling Investment in Community-Driven Climate Solutions

The Hive Fund is co-creating a strategic, place-plus grantmaking approach, supporting constellations of groups in key geographies across the US South in leveraging these new federal climate programs to build and scale community-driven climate solutions. This includes: Continuing to make multiyear grants to groups who are reducing pollution and building clean energy alternatives in their communities and across regions. Identifying and funding up to ten iconic IRA climate justice zones that will offer concrete examples of how progress can happen in the South. Helping grantee partners across the US South prepare to access $3 billion in EPA block grants for community-based organizations in disadvantaged communities, coming available as soon as early 2024. Building the capacity of community-based lenders to access capital from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and other new programs to finance community projects, explore new lending products, and increase access to resources that meet community needs. Coordinating with equity-aligned climate re-granters to raise and move new philanthropic funds quickly and strategically to place-based groups in disinvested communities.

Making Good on the Inflation Reduction Act’s Promise

Many in philanthropy argue that there’s not enough time to overcome systemic barriers to engaging marginalized groups—and that even trying will slow down the process of reducing climate pollution. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Make multiyear, general support grants to community-based organizations that will be engaged in developing, financing, implementing, and communicating about clean energy and other climate justice projects. Support regional hubs and coordinated networks. Fund collaborations among partners taking transformative local solutions to scale.

The IRA Is an Invitation to Organizers

The Inflation Reduction Act presupposes a private sector–led transition, but battles over its implementation could build the political constituencies and expertise needed to take on the fossil fuel industry. It’s understandably hard for those who supported Green New Deal proposals for transformative investments in public goods to see the IRA—a bundle of tax credits whose benefits accrue largely to corporations—as a consolation prize. the forces backing a Green New Deal lost. But they had enough power to fundamentally shift debates at the highest level about what climate policy in the twenty-first century should look like, convincing lawmakers to abandon their commitment to narrow market tweaks and to focus instead on investment and job creation. The weakness of the bill that resulted from that shift reflected the power of polluters and a private sector eager to have the state step in to subsidize its profits. It’s time to get ready to win and run the big green state in the new normal the Green New Deal created.

Building a movement that can take full advantage of the IRA

The Inflation Reduction Act is ambitious climate policy, but history shows that ambitious policy is not always followed by ambitious implementation. In this episode, Hahrie Han of Johns Hopkins University and David Beckman of the Pisces Foundation talk about Mosaic, a grant-making coalition that aims to help build a robust movement infrastructure to ensure that vulnerable and underserved groups can take full advantage of the significant funding offered by the IRA.