Advancing Climate Justice in California: Guiding Principles and Recommendations for Policy and Funding Decisions

Several environmental justice, public health and climate equity organizations in California convened to create a Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG). The working group provided recommendations to the state related to environmental justice and climate equity, as it updated the Safeguarding California climate adaptation plan earlier this year.

CJWG developed social justice recommendations for state adaptation and resilience priorities related to the 2014 Safeguarding CA Implementation Action Plans of the following sectors: Agriculture, Biodiversity and Habitat, Emergency Management, Energy, Forestry, Land Use and Community Development, Oceans and Coastal Resources, Public Health, Transportation, and Water.

Each of these sector’s Implementation Action Plans are discussed independently in the report. A thorough analysis describes what issues and programs included in each action plan address the needs of communities most vulnerable to climate change; what issues and programs are missing; and what the principal challenges to implementation of such issues and programs may be.

CJWG developed recommendations for California state agencies that are proposed for achievement by 2020, or the next iteration of Safeguarding CA. Here’s an overview of some of the recommended strategies provided to the state:

  • By 2020, California state agencies should complete regional cross-sector vulnerability assessments that provide direction and resources to local and regional agencies on integrating climate justice, and engage frontline communities in the process.
  • Establish regional goals, targets, and implementation strategies for building climate resilience in frontline communities to be integrated into the state’s 2020 climate change adaptation strategy along with regional equity metrics that enable annual evaluation of progress toward resilience for frontline communities.
  • The state should identify at least $1 billion by 2020 and $10 billion by 2025 to accomplish climate resilience goals.
  • During planning and implementation of land use and community development decisions, avoid coupled negative consequences such as displacement, that could actually increase frontline communities’ and individuals’ climate vulnerability.
  • Promote adaptation co-benefits of toxic chemical and greenhouse gas reduction policies by supporting those that also reduce frontline communities’ climate vulnerability and enhance their resilience.

CJWG shared its recommendations with the CA Natural Resources Agency, CA Department of Health, and Governor’s Office of Planning and Research for consideration in the 2017 update of Safeguarding California.


Publication Date: August 2017

Related Organizations:

  • California Climate Justice Working Group


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Policy analysis/recommendations

States Affected:

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