Climate Justice

Climate Justice

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The staggering costs of climate change are no longer speculative – they are unfolding with alarming frequency and drama. But it is the economic, political, and social implications of climate change that are starting to drive change.

climatejustice1The Center for Sustainable Economy (CSE) recognizes that, in order to slow climate change, we must both work to keep over two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground, as analysts suggest, and simultaneously challenge the economic, political and social status quo.

Together with environmental justice organizations, community groups, people of faith, indigenous peoples, labor allies, and civil society groups, we are taking action around the urgent moral imperative of rapidly reducing our collective carbon footprint while ensuring our land use is sustainable, with high value carbon sinks, such as old growth forests, bolstered and expanded as rapidly as possible. Our work is divided into three domains of change:

  • Economic Change – The climate crisis is a symptom of an economic system in crisis—a system that measures more oil spills, more climate-related property damages and more coal trains as a net “positive” for the economy, simply because these costs represent a growth in GDP. In response, CSE works to document the true costs of carbon pollution and help communities protect themselves from the economic risks of fossil fuel infrastructure.
  • Political Change – At CSE we are working in coalition with others to strengthen our democracy, particularly as it governs our energy future, to ensure that workers and communities have democratic control and oversight over their energy and transportation resources, infrastructure, and options, and that the rights of future generations are protected.
  • Cultural Change – If the status quo is maintained, our climate will continue to spiral out of balance and the poorest among us, those least responsible for the climate crisis, will suffer the most. CSE is working with a particular focus on supporting and protecting the rights of Native Americans, future generations, and the communities on the front lines of the fossil fuel and timber extraction activity in tackling the climate challenge, with a geographic focus on the Pacific Northwest.

PROGRAM NEWS AND UPDATES

The Portland Model for Climate and Energy Action

The Portland Model for Climate and Energy Action

Any lingering doubt about whether Portlanders were ready to vote for strong climate and energy action was extinguished on election night when the Portland Clean Energy Initiative (PCEI) garnered a 63% ‘yes’ vote. This grassroots designed and driven measure taxes large retailers to fund clean energy initiatives, energy efficiency, workforce ... Read More
Industry Attack on Portland Fossil Fuel Policy Fails

Industry Attack on Portland Fossil Fuel Policy Fails

July 31, 2018 (Portland, Ore.) — Today, a coalition of public interest groups celebrated news that opponents of Portland’s fossil fuel ordinance have failed in their efforts to overturn the City’s landmark law. In 2016, Portland’s City Council voted unanimously to prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure such as oil and ... Read More
Top Climate Scientist Joins Coalition in Calling for an End to Clearcuts and Timber Plantations

Top Climate Scientist Joins Coalition in Calling for an End to Clearcuts and Timber Plantations

One of the world’s leading climate scientists joined a coalition of 18 conservation, scientific, and community organizations calling on Oregon’s new Carbon Policy Office (CPO) and the Department of Forestry (ODF) to do an about-face on the state’s evolving forest carbon policy and to immediately implement measures to curb the ... Read More
OSU Research Confirms that Big Timber is Oregon's Leading Source of GHG Emissions

OSU Research Confirms that Big Timber is Oregon’s Leading Source of GHG Emissions

A new study by researchers based at Oregon State University and the University of Idaho corroborates Center for Sustainable Economy’s 2015 and 2017 research demonstrating that logging is by far the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon and that changes in greenhouse gas accounting rules are urgently ... Read More
Baltimore Set to Ban Crude Oil Infrastructure

Baltimore Set to Ban Crude Oil Infrastructure

On March 12, 2018, the Baltimore City Council voted to approve Council Bill 17-0150, which, if signed by the Mayor, will amend the city’s zoning code to prohibit new and expanded crude oil terminals. Community, justice, and environmental advocates have been organizing around the prohibition after years of fighting crude ... Read More
Beyond Fossil Fuels: Planning a just transition for Alaska

Beyond Fossil Fuels: Planning a just transition for Alaska

Of the 50 United States, Alaska best exemplifies the types of problems the rest of the country may well face in a matter of decades, if not years, if we don’t wean ourselves from fossil fuels.  The U.S. is in the middle of an oil and gas production boom, one ... Read More
A simple message to Clean Energy Jobs Bill supporters: This is not a comprehensive climate solution

A simple message to Clean Energy Jobs Bill supporters: This is not a comprehensive climate solution

By John Talberth, Daphne Wysham, and Nick Caleb Climate change is one of the most daunting challenges humanity has ever faced and requires a commensurate policy response. A robust climate agenda would consist of a number of key interventions to holistically address the issue, including: Ramping down all major sources ... Read More
Fossil Fuel Risk Bonds:  Making Polluters Pay for the Climate Crisis

Fossil Fuel Risk Bonds: Making Polluters Pay for the Climate Crisis

One of the most aggravating aspects of the climate crisis is the fact that fossil fuel companies are passing on huge financial risks to taxpayers and politicians are simply turning their backs on the problem instead of holding those companies accountable. At each stage of the fossil fuel product life ... Read More

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