Climate Justice

Climate Justice


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.



Ocean Acidification and Warming: The Economic Toll

In a new study authored by Dr. John Talberth and Ernie Niemi of Natural Resource Economics, CSE reviewed the economic consequences of ocean acidification and warming – the two most prominent effects of climate change on our oceans – and estimated what increment to the existing social cost of carbon ... Read More

Feds Deny LNG Export Through Oregon – Developer Turns to Trump

Students rally in opposition to the LNG pipeline at the Oregon state capitol. Photo: Rick Rappaport. by Ted Gleichman The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has conclusively rejected the only remaining US West Coast plan to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada and the Rockies to Asia. On December 9, ... Read More
Activists and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales standing with a "Break Free from Fossil Fuels" banner.

This City Just Banned Virtually All New Dirty-Energy Infrastructure

On December 14, the city council in Portland, Oregon, voted unanimously to set “the first stone in a green wall across the West Coast,” in the words of Mayor Charlie Hales. He was referring to a groundbreaking new zoning ordinance that effectively bans all new fossil-fuel-export infrastructure within the city’s limits—including ... Read More