Environmental Equity
West Oakland

Survival in a Health Desert In the West Oakland neighborhood where Margaret Gordon lives, otherwise peaceful views of the bay and the skyline are obscured by a mish-mash of concrete girders, beams, train tracks, and roadways. • Read the full story

Our Vision

Everyone deserves a clean and healthy environment. We imagine a world in which all
communities have clean air and water and where one’s life expectancy is not determined by zip code, race or income. Communities of color need access to economic opportunities from the growing green economy, which represents an opportunity to bring good paying jobs and capital to communities disproportionately impacted by climate change.

The Challenge

Climate change and pollution hurt us all, but communities of color suffer first and worst.
Because existing climate change policies and programs haven’t adequately addressed
these disparities, communities of color often lack access to green programs, resources, and
opportunities. Investments in green technologies can both improve the environment and provide pathways out of poverty, but too often have failed to reach the communities most in need.
Despite a massive U.S. drought, too many stakeholders still believe climate change is
made up. Although all utility customers subsidize climate change efforts, often only the wealthy get to benefit from climate change programs.

Clean Air Equals Kids Stay in School
Click to Enlarge

Our Response

Greenlining works to advance policies that will improve public health and environmental quality
for low-income communities and communities of color while bringing “green” dollars to
these communities. We hope to create resilient communities than can thrive in the face of climate change. Our current projects include:

  • Cap-and-Trade – We are working to ensure that revenues from California’s cap-and-trade program are used to help communities of color adapt to climate change and create economic opportunities, while protecting small businesses and returning funds to ratepayers.
  • Energy Efficiency – We work to make sure a fair share of the California Public Utilities Commission’s $1 billion annual investment in energy efficiency dollars is used for effective programs that provide access to good, career-path jobs and real energy savings for our communities, through programs like the Energy Savings Assistance Program.
  • Electric Vehicles – We were among the first to highlight the obstacles to widespread use of Electric Vehicles (EV) in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods in our landmark report, “Electric Vehicles: Who’s Left Stranded?” In 2012 Greenlining was designated as an official program partner in a landmark settlement between the California Public Utilities Commission and NRG Energy that will bring fast-charging stations and EV car-sharing programs to low-income neighborhoods.
Share this: