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.
The 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.