Vulnerable populations have the least amount of political and social power to affect change needed to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. We must protect these frontline communities from the impacts of climate change. If we do nothing, EJ communities will be among the first to lose their homes to rising sea levels, their health to increased air pollution, and their lives to more extreme weather events. Environmental and climate justice means real solutions and real action are all the more urgent.
Clean Air & Water
Reliance on fossil fuels for electricity endangers our air and our water, from extraction to generation to disposal. Clean air and clean water are basic necessities — human rights — for people to be able to live healthy lives. Alabama’s leaders (including regulators, elected officials, and business executives) must get serious about addressing the long-term harm our state’s dependence on fossil fuels does to our environment and our health.
Focus Areas: National Ambient Air Quality Standards • Alabama Water Management Plan • Coal Ash • Alabama Ambient Air Monitoring Plans
Solar and wind energy are the fastest growing sources in the electricity sector. It’s time for Alabama to incentive clean, renewable energy like wind and solar for ALL Alabamians. Such policies will not only increase access to sustainable energy tools like rooftop solar and energy efficiency technology, but pro-clean energy policies will reduce greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide and methane by off-setting the amount of dirty fossil fuels burned by Alabama Power and other electric utilities.
Focus Areas: Access to Capital (PACE) • Community Solar • Energy Efficiency • Solar (Dis)Incentives (rate riders)
Jobs & The Economy
We can grow Alabama’s economy and create good-paying jobs by investing in homegrown clean energy and energy efficiency technology. High-paying “green-collar jobs” are not only safer for workers, but they also produce cleaner energy that is better for health and the environment. We must help communities and workers struggling with the decline of the coal industry and ensure these workers are given the opportunity to develop the skills they need to participate in the green economy of the future. This means investing in workforce services and skills training and capacity building to foster economic growth opportunities in coal-impacted communities. Transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas toward clean, efficient energy will help Alabama’s economy grow stronger than ever before, creating a the next generation of jobs and prosperity.
Focus Areas: Just Transition • Solar Jobs Training • Restoring Coal Mines • Brownfields • Recycling
Alabamians depend on the Alabama Public Service Commission to make sure the deck isn’t stacked too much against customers in favor of Alabama Power profits, which are some of the highest in the industry for similar investor-owned utilities. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) — a process that identifies the least-cost energy mix for the utility and its customers — are necessary for customers to understand their energy provider’s plans for the future, especially as it relates to climate change. Unfortunately, the Alabama PSC does not have a robust public review process for Alabama Power’s IRP (only a brief summary is made available to the public). Transparency is an absolute must in order for Alabama to truly address the impact of climate change in a just and equitable way.
Focus Areas: Open Records • Integrated Resource Plan • Environmental Compliance • Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards
Climate change isn’t merely a problem of increasing temperatures. Drought, flooding, extreme weather, and other consequences of climate change will also have a significant effect on the way we produce, distribute, and consume our food. Too many Alabamians live with food security challenges thanks to poverty and so-called “food deserts.” Communities that are already suffering from food insecurity will be disproportionately affected by climate change. We must adapt our agriculture and food systems to meet this urgent demand now before it’s too late.
Focus Areas: Urban Farming • Sustainable Farming • Food Systems • Community Gardens
It may be cliché to note that much of our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling, but the reality is that unless we make significant investments in resilient infrastructure today it is only going to get worse. Sea-level rise, heavy downpours, and extreme heat are already doing damage to our systems. We need to implement adaptation plans to ensure that our buildings, utilities, roads, bridges, levees, railroads, airports and other infrastructure aren’t vulnerable to climate change.
Focus Areas: Built Environment • Green Building • Transportation Systems
If you share our Values we want you to be a part of our coalition.
Justice isn’t a program; it’s a priority.
Through the lens of justice, we are working to develop a 21st century clean energy economy, to reduce global warming impacts to people and the environment, and to broaden the conversation about clean energy and climate change in Alabama.
We strive to bring together diverse voices dedicated to equity, health, fairness, and transparency. The hope is that together, we can develop some agreed upon actions that we can call on community leaders and elected officials to take to remove barriers to clean energy and increase opportunities for creating jobs and protecting public health and the environment.