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Providence, Rhode Island - Climate Justice Plan: Creating an Equitable, Low-Carbon, and Climate Resilient Future

2019

Co-created by the Office of Sustainability and the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee (REJC) of the City of Providence, Rhode Island, this Climate Justice Plan lays the foundation for socially equitable climate mitigation and adaptation. Providence Mayor Elorza has set a goal for the city to become carbon neutral by 2050, with frontline communities to “lead the charge. ” The Plan includes seven key objectives and over 50 mitigation as well as adaptation strategies developed to concurrently achieve carbon neutrality, climate resilience and social climate justice in Providence.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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USDN Guide to Developing Resilience Hubs

October 2019

The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is supporting the development of Resilience Hubs, which are described as community-serving facilities that aid and educate residents, and coordinate resource distribution and services before, during or after a natural hazard event. The USDN Resilience Hub guidance document is a living framework designed to assist communities in planning for, implementing and operating a community Resilience Hub - geared towards local governments, community-based organizations, and other practitioners.

Author or Affiliated User: Kristin Baja

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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NAACP - Our Communities, Our Power: Advancing Resistance and Resilience in Climate Change Adaptation - Action Toolkit

April 29, 2019

From the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), this comprehensive Toolkit provides a series of modules to help NAACP chapters and other advocates mediate climate adaptation planning processes and ensure that adaptation plans and policies meet local needs, while focusing on frontline communities, environmental and climate justice, and equity. The Toolkit provides guidance to help community groups and advocates develop an Environmental and Climate Justice (ECJ) Committee to inform adaptation planning and policy through 19 different Modules.

Author or Affiliated User: Jacqui Patterson

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Making Equity Real in Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience Policies and Programs: A Guidebook

August 2019

To operationalize California’s statewide vision of honoring social equity in the climate adaptation planning and decision-making processes, the Greenlining Institute published Making Equity Real in Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience Policies and Programs: A Guidebook. The guidebook provides detailed step-by-step guidelines for policymakers to ensure social equity is embraced and implemented throughout the adaptation processes, from goal setting, to policy implementation, to outcome evaluation.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Sona Mohnot, Jordyn Bishop, Alvaro Sanchez

Resource Category: Planning

 

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From Community Engagement to Ownership: Tools for the Field with Case studies of Four Municipal Community-Driven Environmental and Racial Equity Committees

June 2018

Recognizing the importance of collaborative governance in reducing inequities as a result of climate vulnerability, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network gave the Innovation Fund Project grant to four municipal community-based committees for racial equity and environmental justice. They were funded to learn and evaluate the collaboration process between community-based committees and the local governments utilizing the spectrum of community engagement to ownership as a tool to analyze the case studies. The four case studies include the Equity Working Group in Portland, the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee in Providence, the Environmental Justice Committee in Seattle, and the Equity Advisory Group for Ward 7 in Washington DC. The four committees and groups contracted with Facilitating Power (FP), Movement Strategy Center (MSC), and the National Association of Climate Resilience Planners to establish an evaluation process of collaborative governance. After conducting surveys and in-person interviews, the research indicates that all four cases are still at level two (consult) on a scale of five on the spectrum. While some have shown the potential of moving toward level three (community involvement), none of these cases have arrived at level four (collaborative governance). Building on the findings and the spectrum, the project further suggests a learning and evaluation tool for assessing the process of collaborative governance.

 

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Social Cohesion: The Secret Weapon in the Fight for Equitable Climate Resilience

May 2015

From the Center for American Progress, this report discusses the role that social cohesion plays in preparedness and response to climate change induced extreme weather events, with a focus on the vulnerability of low-income communities. Methods to integrate community resilience into climate resilience, and specific recommendations to foster climate and social resilience are provided. In addition to the value of social cohesion in climate resilience, the report details how addressing the unique housing, economic and health vulnerabilities of low-income groups will in turn have benefits for the community at large.

Author or Affiliated User: Danielle Baussan

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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CA SB 1072: Regional Climate Collaborative Program: technical assistance.

September 13, 2018

California SB 1072 establishes a program to build and support existing regional climate collaboratives across the state that will assist "under-resourced communities" to access state funding for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. California’s Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is required to develop best practices and technical assistance guidelines, and will award annual grants to collaboratives for capacity building.  After passing the law in 2018, the state immediately allocated funding for implementation.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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California Coastal Commission Environmental Justice Policy

March 8, 2019

Established in 1972, the California Coastal Commission has a mandate “to protect and enhance California’s coast and ocean for current and future generations" by regulating development with local government. In 2016, AB 2616 was enacted to amend the state’s Coastal Act, giving the Commission authority to specifically consider environmental justice when making coastal permit decisions. While providing the public and the Commission with guidance on how the agency will implement its authority under AB 2616 - the 2019 environmental justice policy is intended to integrate the principles of environmental justice, equality, and social equity into all aspects of the Commission’s program and operations.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Climate Adaptation Investment and the Community Reinvestment Act

June 2019

This report was conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Harvard University to explore the connection between climate adaptation and resilience and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which encourages banks to invest in and address the credit needs of low- and moderate-income areas and underserved rural areas. The CRA was enacted in 1977 and, according to the Federal Reserve, “requires the Federal Reserve and other federal banking regulators to encourage financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they do business, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Jesse Keenan, Elizabeth Mattiuzzi

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Prince George's County, Maryland Environmental Justice Commission

April 2019

In 2018, the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Maryland House Bill 183 (HB183) establishing the Environmental Justice Commission to address the environmental and public health concerns in Prince George's County. HB 183 lists the composition of the Commission, outlines the missions and duties of the Commission, mandates a findings and recommendations report along with a plan of action within two years and a month. Enacting the commission to facilitate environmental justice in Prince George's County can help improve inequities of low-income and minority residents in the area impacted by climate change. After the Commission had submitted the first final report in February 2019, the General Assembly further acknowledged the Commission’s work and passed HB 1362 in April 2019 to extend the termination date of the Commission to June 30th, 2020. The final report was submitted on January 10th, 2020.

 

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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