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Take action in your community. For ideas and resources, check out the Fair Climate Project's Solutions Guide: "Guide to Accessing Federal Funding for Our Communities."

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The Fair Climate Connection

December 16, 2010

Greetings, Fair Climate Advocate!
Welcome to the Fair Climate Connection!

We use this newsletter as a means to communicate news, events, and upcoming opportunities related to fair climate solutions. If you have any successes you'd like to share in an upcoming issue of this newsletter, please email FairClimateProject@nwf.org so we can feature your community or organization!

We are working to revamp our newsletter, but we need your input to guide the improvements. Please take the time to answer the questions in this 2-3 minute survey. We really appreciate your help!

Last but not least, happy holidays to you and yours! All of us at the Fair Climate Project look forward to collaborating with you in the coming year. 
In this issue...
Cancun Climate Talks Update
The Greenforce Initiative: Greener Campuses and Careers
Latino Policy Priorities for Energy and Climate Change
Doctor's Orders: Clean Air for all
Funding Opportunities

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About Us

The goal of NWF's Fair Climate Project is to build and engage a national network of leaders representing underserved communities to advance equitable and just solutions to climate change. We work to forge connections between community leaders and decision makers to jumpstart local projects and national initiatives that promote green communities, clean energy, and green jobs.

Clean air, clean water and abundant wildlife sustain Americans from all walks of life. We all have a shared responsibility to protect these resources for our children's future.  At NWF, we are working to bring together diverse voices to affect decisions that will create safe and healthy communities for all.

Follow-up Links
Upcoming Events
Tribal Designations Workgroup Call 
January 06, 2011 (12:00 - noon - 1:00 pm EST)

State and Local Climate and Energy Program Webcast: Federal Resources and Support for Climate Change Adaptation
January 13, 2011 (2:00-3:30 pm EST)

NTAA/EPA Air Policy Call 
January 27, 2011 (12:00 - noon - 1:30 pm)

Fair Climate Network National Summit
January 31st-February 1st

The Union of Concerned Scientists is hosting a series of webinar briefings on the America's Climate Choices reports. Four have been offered: Advancing the Science of Climate Change; Limiting the Magnitude of Climate Change; Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change; and Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change. You can listen to the audio and/or request the PowerPoint on the UCS site at:

Recent Happenings and Events
White House Environmental Justice Forum
December 15, 2010
The Obama Administration's environmental team conducted a day-long symposium to draw attention to programs aimed at improving the health and environmental integrity of the nation's often-neglected poorer communities. The first-ever forum steamed live and stressed the needs of people of color and people on the low end of the income spectrum. Speakers included Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Progress in Cancun Climate Talks But Much Remains to be Done

While we have yet to attain a legally binding international treaty on climate change, some progress was made in this year's negotiations. The 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) was recently held in Cancun Mexico.

There was some progress on two key issues, including stopping deforestation and establishing a Green Climate Fund to aid developing nations who are especially affected by the impacts of global warming. The main international tool for reducing deforestation is REDD which stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. The basic premise of REDD is to pay forest communities to keep their land forested; forests store a huge amount of carbon and provide numerous ecosystem services. Forest Communities have a financial incentive to cut their forests down for the wood or to clear the land to grow crops or raise cattle, so it is important for the international community to work with these communities to be sure that the value of these forests is fully realized. To learn more about REDD and the progress we are making on this issues visit this NWF supported blog, www.ForestJustice.org.

While progress on REDD was promising, the US continued to drag its feet. Joe Mendelson, global warming policy director of the National Wildlife Federation, said, "Progress was made on a number of important issues, but it's clear the Senate's failure to pass clean energy legislation tied the hands of negotiators to come to a full global deal. Formally recognizing the Copenhagen reduction targets - including the U.S. 17 percent reductions by 2020 - still leaves the world woefully short of what needs to be done to tackle the climate crisis." 

Barbara Bramble, NWF senior international affairs advisor said:

"While the process is cumbersome at times, the U.N.'s Framework Convention remains our best forum for convening global powers to solve a massive global problem. The process can work, and in fact produced some forward progress here in Cancun, particularly on deforestation and assisting vulnerable countries. But by not getting more done in Cancun, we are raising the stakes at the next round of talks in South Africa."


To read more on NWF's take on climate change, read "Progress in Cancun Climate Talks, Much Left To Do."

How will your community prepare for the new green economy?

The Greenforce Initiative:  Greener Campuses and Careers

The emerging green economy will create not just jobs, but-- if done right--career opportunities across the U.S. as green manufacturing, green products and green services fuel demand for workers at all skill levels. According to the Center for American Progress, clean energy will be one of the largest industries in the country by 2020, valued as high as $2.3 trillion per year. 

However, 61% of the members of the Association of Energy Engineers report a growing shortage of qualified professionals in the field, and 37% say they plan to retire in the next 10 years, which presents an incredible challenge to job-seeking Americans. At the center of this unprecedented opportunity are the nation's nearly 1,200 community and technical colleges.


The Greenforce Initiative:  Greener Campuses and Careers, a joint effort of National Wildlife Federation with Jobs for the Future, advances green workforce education and training, creates career pathways for lower-skilled adults, and connects campus sustainability initiatives to the curriculum.  The team has hosted a summit in south Texas engaging 75 mostly Hispanic community college and local economic development leaders and will hold three summits in North Carolina, Virginia and Michigan in February and March. To learn more about these events and the Greenforce Initiative, visit Campus Ecology or go directly to the Greenforce Initiative site. 

Latino Policy Priorities for Energy and Climate Change
As the fastest-growing segment of the workforce-and among the hardest hit by the recession-Latinos have much at stake in the design and implementation of new federal energy and climate change policies. The aspects of the debate that are especially vital for Latinos are costs and job opportunities. The following principles provide a framework for assessing the impact of proposed energy and climate change legislation on Latino workers and families.
  • Reduce and mitigate the impact of rising energy prices on low-income consumers.
  • Ensure that green jobs training opportunities reach disadvantaged workers.
  • Promote diversity in green business contracting.

To learn more, visit the National Council of La Raza.
Doctor's Orders: Clean Air for all
Clean air: for the life of our communities

Just last week, NWF signed a letter with the American Lung Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and nearly 300 other organizations to stress that while the EPA has made a world of difference in protecting Americans' health, much more work needs to be done to confront rising health challenges that will occur should climate change progress:

"Forty years ago, Congressional leaders from both parties wrote and passed the Clean Air Act.  This law directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health and the environment.  Since then this wise congressional legacy has saved lives and improved the quality of life for millions of Americans.

But the job is not yet done.  Far too many of our communities still suffer from poor air quality. Too many families, particularly those of lower income, face the impacts of toxic air pollution every day...

Over the coming years the EPA will be fulfilling its duty to reduce the smog and soot pollution, air toxics, and global warming pollution that are the cause of these public health threats.  We urge you to fully support the EPA in fulfilling this responsibility.  Doing so is quite literally a matter of life and death for tens of thousands of people and will mean the difference between chronic debilitating illness or a healthy life for hundreds of thousands more."

As polluters use their money to try to persuade Congress that the Clean Air Act is pointless rule-making that will cost government money, it is more important than ever that we all communicate to elected officials just how much clean air means to us. 

Funding Opportunities
NOAA K-12 Environmental Literacy Grants - $8 million envr education
Application Due: January 12, 2011envr ed
Eligible Entities: Institutions of higher education; other non-profits; K-12 public and independent schools and school systems; and state, local, and Indian tribal governments in the United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, request proposals for Environmental Literacy Grants for Formal K-12 Education. This RFP will support K-12 education projects that advance inquiry-based Earth System Science learning and stewardship directly tied to the school curriculum, with a particular interest in increasing climate literacy. $8 million is expected to be available for up to 10 awardees. For more information, contact Carrie McDougall at oed.grants@noaa.gov.

USDA Rural Community Development Initiative - $6.3 million
Application Due: December 22, 2010
Eligible Entities: State governments, local governments, Indian tribes, non-profit organizations, and others

The U.S. Department of Agriculture requests proposals for the Rural Community Development Initiative. RCDI supports organization capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural area. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, programs that support micro-enterprise and sustainable development, and programs to assist recipients in completing pre-development requirements for housing, community facilities, or community and economic development projects by providing resources for professional services, e.g., architectural, engineering, or legal.

Application Due: January 7, 2011
Eligible Entities: States, local governments, territories, Indian tribes, international organizations, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, other public or private non-profit institutions. For-profit organizations are not eligible.
EPA has announced the availability of funds and is soliciting proposals to advance comprehensive, integrated modeling and assessment of multiple greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Proposals should also provide ways to enhance understanding of climate change impacts and their economic implications in order to assist decision makers and the public in effectively responding to the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change. For more information, view the funding announcement at:http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html.
Application Due: January 14, 2011
Eligible Entities: Local governments, Indian tribes, non-profit organizations, and others
EPA solicited comments through September 13th, 2010, on the new FY2011 Grant Application Guidelines for this funding opportunity. The RFA announces availability of grants for helping eligible entities deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs focused on hazardous and solid waste management, assessment, and cleanup activities. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 13 environmental workforce development and job training cooperative agreements from this competitive opportunity. For more information, check out the draft grant application guidelines.
HUD Assisted Housing Stability and Home Energy Retrofit Loan Pilot Program 

Application Due: February 16, 2011

Eligible Entities: Homeowners

Under the Retrofit Pilot Program, HUD, through FHA-approved lenders, will insure loans for eligible homeowners who are seeking to make energy and green retrofit investments in the property, to ensure the maintenance and preservation of the property, the continued operation and maintenance of energy efficiency technologies, and the timely expenditure of funds

For more information, see the full announcement and the grant listing, or contact john.f.prusch@hud.gov.

Currently, the Fair Climate Project is working to create an online resource for funding updates. Stay tuned on this development!