Climate Change (Research)

ReGeneration: Young People Shaping Environmental Justice

Movement Strategy CenterBy Julie Quiroz-Martinez, Diana Pei Wu and Kristen Zimmerman

In October 2002, hundreds of activists converged in Washington, D.C. for the largest and most diverse gathering of environmental justice leaders ever in the United States: The Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, or Summit II. Coming from all over the country and the world, these activists gathered to build on the victories and strengthen the roots of their movement. On the second morning of the gathering, the Summit Planning Committee took the stage for the day’s opening plenary with an audience of more than 1400 people. Just as the session was about to start, a group of mostly young people streamed into the room, wielding signs and chanting “No Justice, No Peace!” They were greeted by applause from the entire audience, including those onstage. Seconds later, the protesters themselves took the stage and surrounded the plenary table, making it clear that the Planning Committee was the target of their protest. While some committee members recognized what was coming, others were surprised to be the focus of this mobilization. A large number of the youth attending the Summit had organized to present carefully crafted demands to the Planning Committee, which Introduction Introduction was mostly (but not entirely) adult led. The protesters were partly insisting on more equitable inclusion and support of youth in the environmental justice movement. However, like much youth organizing, the demands were not limited to youth-specific issues. They addressed much broader concerns, such as the tension between professional/academic and community-based leaders in the movement.

NO REDD!

NO REDD

NO REDD! is a reader, a collection of articles written by REDD Monitor, Global Justice Ecology Project, Honduran Garifuna Organization, Diego Alejandro Cardona,Tatiana Roa Avendaño, World Rainforest Movement, Carbon Trade Watch, Bria, ETC Group. Indigenous Peoples participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate negotiations and other the UN Convention on Biological Diversity are in the frontlines of a power structure that minimises the importance of indigenous cosmologies, philosophies and world views. These power structures reside within the UN process and prop up inequalities found in industrialised countries, the more developed of the developing countries, the World Bank and financial institutions. These powerful actors have economic systems that objectify, commodify and put a monetary value on land, water, forests and air that is antithetical to indigenous understanding. Indigenous peoples, North and South, are forced into the world market with nothing to negotiate with except the natural resources relied on for survival.

Driving Change: Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled in California

PPIC Report

Senate Bill (SB) 375, adopted in 2008, calls on regional transportation planning agencies and local governments to develop strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by reducing per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Three specific strategies, traditionally used to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, are to be employed to help reduce emissions: Higher-density development, particularly in areas well-served by transit; Investments in alternatives to solo driving, such as transit, biking, walking, and carpooling; and Pricing policies that raise the cost of driving and parking. Although SB 375 is expected to reduce emissions only modestly relative to vehicle efficiency standards and low-carbon fuels, it is also expected to improve public health and reduce energy and water use by encouraging denser development and more “livable” communities. The integration of these three approaches is consistent with an emerging research consensus that policies integrating all three strategies have a much greater chance of reducing VMT than any one approach on its own. This report reviews the opportunities and challenges of each of these strategies and assesses California’s recent experience and future prospects for successfully integrating them.

California at the Crossroads: Proposition 23, AB 32, and Climate Change

California at the Crossroads: Proposition 23, AB 32, and Climate ChangeBy Berkley Law University of California

 

Proposition 23, an initiative appearing on California’s November 2010 general election ballot, would suspend the implementation and operation of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, better known as AB 32, until state unemployment rates remain at or below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. That level has been reached three times since the state began compiling these statistics in 1976. AB 32 requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a reduction of approximately 30 percent from projected business-as-usual levels for the same year. During a period of suspension under Proposition 23, state agencies would not be able to “propose, promulgate, or adopt any regulation implementing” AB 32. In addition, the regulations adopted prior to suspension would be made “void and unenforceable” during the suspension period. The proponents of Proposition 23 argue that implementation of AB 32 will raise energy prices and reduce employment and, therefore, should be suspended until the state’s economy is more robust. They contend that Proposition 23 will benefit California by temporarily delaying expensive and burdensome greenhouse gas reductionmeasures, while allowing those measures to move forward in the future, when the California economy improves.

AB 32 Could Save Billions in Energy Costs Study finds household savings up to $670 in 2020

AB 32

California’s clean energy and clean air standards could save the average household up to $670 in 2020 if oil and natural gas prices spike, according to a new study by three economists. The U.S. economy has experienced five price shocks in the last 30 years when crude oil prices rose an average of 179% in just one year. This study analyzed how much more Californians would pay if wholesale crude oil and natural gas prices doubled at the start of 2020 and stayed there for a year. “No study has calculated the benefits of AB 32 in the event of an energy price shock,” said James Fine, economist for Environmental Defense Fund and one of the report’s authors. “This study uncovers massive potential savings, and shows how the state’s landmark policy will protect California’s economy from unpredictable events, such as hurricanes and wars, that cause energy prices to jump.”

SB 375 Impact Analysis Report

Source: 

SB 375

The Urban Land Institute released an SB 375 Impact Analysis Report which says that SB 375 could "accommodate growth in ways that are economically sound, environmentally responsible, and socially beneficial." ULI, a developer-backed research group with 30,000 members worldwide, released the report at a TOD Marketplace event in Los Angeles. The report finds that SB 375 will "help California meet the shifting market demand for housing, allocate public resources more efficiently, and ensure a better quality of life."

Transportation, Land Use and Greenhouse Gases A Bay Area Resource Guide

Hydro BusForty percent of the Bay Area’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)—nearly 42 million metric tons a year—come from our cars, trucks, buses, trains, ships and planes. While the Bay Area has begun a serious discussion on ways to reduce transportation GHGs (primarily carbon dioxide, or CO2), we need better information to help us understand which strategies will yield the most cost-effective results. In addition, we must develop a clearer understanding of the important roles that each stakeholder—regional agencies, local governments, businesses, community groups and residents—must play if we are to significantly reduce our transportation “carbon footprint.” The scale of the task ahead is daunting. The chart on page 5 shows the reductions that must be made (both in total and per-capita emissions) for California to reach its climate goals for 2020 and 2050. Since California’s population is expected to grow significantly in this time period, we must strategically focus on transportation strategies that will make a major impact on emissions.The goal of this guide is to spark discussion and generate new ideas in the Bay Area transportation community.

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