California is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through its cap-and-trade program and the billions of dollars in climate investments that the program generates. However, no matter how much we curb carbon emissions now or in the future, climate change is already happening. Communities around the world feel the impacts right now from climate disasters such as wildfires, droughts, record breaking temperatures, sea level rise and hurricanes. While these impacts affect everyone in some way, low income communities of color are hit first and worst by climate change due to decades of redlining that has left them with significantly less resources and infrastructure to respond to climate disasters. While California is leading the way to curb carbon emissions, we must also ensure that our most vulnerable communities are prepared to adapt to climate change and thrive in spite of it — climate resilience, also called climate adaptation
Climate Justice Working Group
In 2016, Greenlining joined the Climate Justice Working Group, along with several other environmental and health equity organizations. Convened by the Resources Legacy Fund, the CJWG met to develop climate adaptation policy recommendations aimed at protecting the state’s most vulnerable communities. We created a set of principles and recommendations leading with equity that we encourage California leaders to adopt as they develop climate adaptation plans and policies (see the full report here: Advancing Climate Justice in California: Guiding Principles and Recommendations for Policy and Funding Decisions).
Since its publication, Greenlining has actively worked to share the contents of the report with a wide range of stakeholders in California. Greenlining regularly meets with legislators, state agencies and other decision-makers to help turn the CJWG’s climate adaptation recommendations into meaningful action and bring climate equity to the forefront of policymaking. We also actively track proposed climate adaptation legislation, and find ways to work with decision-makers in charge of implementing climate adaptation programs to ensure these programs reach the most vulnerable communities. Finally, Greenlining serves on the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program Technical Advisory Committee with the goal of advancing equity in adaptation policies at the local, regional and state level.