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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."

Stay tuned for a webinar on these issues!

The Fair Climate Connection

 
January 13, 2011

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. (Check out member Charlotte King's feature this week!)

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 1-3 minute survey. We really appreciate your help!
 
In this issue...
Sustainable Neighborhood Strategies: Atlanta Georgia
A "Tex-Extremist" Approach to the Clean Air Act
Department of Labor Wants to Know How You Did It Successfully
The Greenforce Initiative: Creating Pathways to Green Careers
New 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

10th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

· Hosted by the Local Government Commission

· February 3-5, 2011  

· Charlotte, NC

· The Fair Climate Project's Marc Littlejohn will speak on the panel: "Linking Climate Justice and Sustainability to National Equitable Development Advocacy Concerns"

· The Diversity Scholarship Fund to cover expenses of individuals and groups who work on environmental equity issues (deadline January 14)

 

2011 Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference

· February 8-10
· Washington, DC

· This year's Conference is focused on putting into practice the ideas and strategies that will build a sustainable economy with millions of good, green jobs across the country. The Conference features two days of exciting plenaries and keynotes, and features more than 100 workshops on a wide range of topics focusing on building a cleaner, greener and more sustainable economy.
· There are state-based strategy meetings planned for 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. on February 7.

 
 
Webinars and Calls
Tribal NSR Workgroup Call 
· January 19, 2011 at Noon - 1:00PM EST

 
NTAA/EPA Air Policy Call 
 
· January 27, 2011 at Noon - 1:30PM EST

EPA Environmental Justice Community Outreach Call -
· February 3, 2011 at 3PM EST

Climate Resilient Cities Program: Coastal Climate Adaptation in the Southeast
· Presented by SACE (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy) and ICLEI's (Local Governments for Sustainability) Climate Adaptation Webinar series
·Live webinar on January 27 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM EST 
· The Climate Resilient Cities Program was designed specifically to help communities be informed and engaged in climate change adaptation. It offers invaluable tools and free resources to help communities through the process of assessing vulnerabilities, setting goals for resilience, and developing adaptation strategies that integrate with existing hazard and comprehensive planning efforts.

America's Climate Choices
· Hosted by the Union for Concerned Scientists and accessible at any time
· Advancing the Science of Climate Change
 
· Limiting the Magnitude of Climate Change
 
· Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change
 
· Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

 
EPA State and Local Climate and Energy Program Webcasts
· Federal Resources and Support for Climate Change Adaptation, January 13
· Clean Energy & Transmission Planning in the Eastern Interconnection, January 31

ENERGY STAR Webcasts
· K-12 Benchmarking 101, January 11
· Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Plants in Portfolio Manager, January 12
· Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment, January 19
· Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR, January 20

DOE Webcasts
· Achieving Greater Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings, January 18
· Risk Management and Continuous Improvement, January 19
· Community Renewables: Wind, Solar, and Model Program Rules, January 26

 
 

Sustainable Neighborhood Strategies:  Atlanta Georgia

by Charlotte King

Fair Climate Network member and President/Creative Director of Sustainability Marketing


In Atlanta's historic Pittsburgh Neighborhood, sustainability strategies may prove a "game changer" in delivering long-term value for 

1.13.2011 ATL housing CKing picture
A renovated historic home in Atlanta's Pittsburgh neighborhood that fell into foreclosure and was acquired from the FDIC by SNDSI as a part of the Preservation of Pittsburgh, a neighborhood in Atlanta.

residents and the city related to neighborhood revitalization and urban development.

 

Sustainable Neighborhood Strategies Incorporated (SNDSI) has purchased more than 90 properties since mid 2009, in a pioneering project to tackle crippling neighborhood effects of 40% foreclosures while also enhancing the housing status of low-income families. In September 2009, "we were honored to host a visit from HUD Secretary Donovan, to underscore two key benefits of this initiative - first as a powerful example of federal agencies HUD, DOT, and EPA working together to support a project receiving NSP funding.  Secondly, to highlight the first community component of Atlanta's Beltline," according to Mtamanika Youngblood, President/CEO of SNDSI.

 

Atlanta's Beltine$2.8 billion redevelopment project is an integrated approach to land use, transportation, greenspace and sustainable development.  Even in its earliest stages, SNDSI has made sustainability a core focus in:

 

·         The SNDSI mission referencing the "triple bottom-line" opportunities for social, economic and environmental - including "ensuring durable affordable housing where  residents receive the highest quality of living afforded by best practices in green technology and sustainable innovation."

·         Southface Energy, conducting energy efficiency audits of acquired properties to ensure that neighborhood homes are both "green" and healthy for children; and establishing community gardens throughout the site.

 ·         Additionally, the project has plans to train and educate residents about sustainable living practices and increasing access to green jobs.

 

As the project evolves, it continues to attract support and resources from local utilities, conservation groups, and sustainable business interests.  Its smart growth and economic development all rolled up in one.  Stay tuned.

A "Tex-Extremist" Approach to the Clean Air Act

Houston
Smog Covers Houston (image courtesy ens-newswire.com)

Texans enjoy better air quality like the rest of Americans thanks to a strong Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, some Texas politicians are making a play for their polluter friends at the expense of the people who sent them to office. On Friday, January 14th, Dallas will be the scene of a public hearing to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) role in making sure Texas sticks with the rest of the country when it comes to controlling carbon pollution.

As part of its reasonable and staggered rollout to control carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act, the EPA asked each state to develop implementation plans on how it will assess carbon pollution within construction permits for power plants and industrial facilities that increase carbon pollution by 75,000 tons per year.  Without a state plan to issue permits, businesses could not move forward with building these facilities or would do so in direct violation of the Clean Air Act. As the National Association of Clean Air Agency reports, 49 states are on track with meeting this request and only one, Texas, has out and out refused to cooperate with EPA.

Instead of acting in the best interest of his state, Governor Perry is doing the dirty work of big polluters who want to throw up every hurdle up to gut and filet the EPA's efforts to tackle the climate crisis and protect the quality of the air we breathe. Not that the governor is working alone: a sampling of the Governor's contributors includes Exxon-Mobil ($ 49,560), Conoco Phillips ($ 18,250), Chevron ($ 11,000) and Shell ($ 7,000).  The Sunlight Foundation has tracked that the Governor has received over $1.3M in political contributions from oil and gas interests during 2009-10; Hopefully, the citizens of Texas will rally this week against these polluters, and pull their state back from the brink of climate despair.

If you live in Texas, please attend the public hearing to let your voice be heard. It will occur from 10AM-7PM at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on 1015 Elm St. in downtown Dallas. If you cannot make the hearing, please contact Governor Perry and tell him to stop gambling with people's lives.
 

Department of Labor Wants to Know How YOU Did It Successfully

How did you make your organization more climate friendly?

Over the next year, The U.S. Department of Labor will collect examples of actions that organizations and businesses have taken to support green job growth while at the same time adopt climate friendly actions. A sampling of best practices will be featured in a guide to be released on Earth Day 2011.

To be considered as a featured best practice, please describe (in 150 words or less) how your company has changed or adopted a plan to create green jobs within your company/organization and helped spur economic growth. Submissions will be evaluated, among other things, to the extent they provide insights as to the following:

  • How your company's/organization's actions were climate friendly;
  • How your company's/organization's actions contributed to the economy, including the creation of new & safe green jobs; and
  • Motivations for the decision to make climate-friendly changes that support green job growth and how the changes were accomplished.

Each submission should also include the name of the business or organization, location, and contact information. Submit your "Turning Green to Gold, Safely" best practice.


Greenforce initiative
Greenforce summit participants discuss clean energy job educational training needs in the Rio South Texas Region.
The Greenforce Initiative: Creating Pathways to Green Careers
by Carly Queen, NWF Campus Field Coordinator in Atlanta, Georgia

NWF's Campus Ecology Team took the next step in our Greenforce Initiative work by hosting the first Greenforce Summit with our partner, Jobs for the Future, and community colleges in the South Texas Region on October 28, 2010.
The summit took place at South Texas College, drawing 65 participants from a total of 23 organizations including community colleges, businesses, and non-profit organizations throughout the Houston, San Antonio, South Texas border and Valley regions. In addition to building relationships among community colleges, the summit focused on identifying the types of green jobs in Southern Texas, employer engagement and local economic development, creating greener careers and greener campuses, green career pathways, and connecting campus sustainability to green career pathways. Following the summit, the initiative is forming a steering committee to guide the network around innovation grants, future conferences as well as research topics.

Through our conversations with partners and other organizations from the region several needs have emerged for the region:
  1. Incentives for employers: The region has strong potential for renewable energy generation from wind and solar in addition to large markets for energy efficiency and green building work. However stronger incentives need to be in place for employers of these sectors to locate to these regions, particularly San Antonio and southern Texas.
  2. Workforce development: While the region has great expertise on the energy industry in general, the workforce needs to be retrained and trained for both higher skill- level and lower skill level careers in the green economy. The workforce in San Antonio and southern Texas also in general lack the higher level technical skills needed for greener employers.
  3. Greening of operations: There is a strong interest in sustainable business practices however there is a lack of know-how on implementing these practices
Now we are gearing up for 5 more Greenforce Summits in the Spring, as well as the Power Shift Conference in Washington, DC. The Greenforce Initiative is also creating Learning and Action Networks in six regions/states: Metro Chicago, Michigan, North Carolina, northern Virginia, Seattle, and South Texas. To learn more about the Greenforce Initiative and how you can get involved, check out our website!
Funding Opportunities

 

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 Sustainable Communities Research Grants - $1.5 million

Application Due: February 4, 2011

Eligible Entities: Nationally recognized and accredited institutions of higher education; non-profit foundations, think tanks, research consortia or policy institutes, and for-profit organizations located in the United States.

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development request proposals for the Transformation Initiative: Sustainable Communities Research Grant Program. Through this RFP, HUD is primarily interested in sponsoring cutting edge research in affordable housing development and preservation, transportation-related issues, economic development and job creation, land use planning and urban design, green and sustainable energy practices, and a range of issues related to sustainability. Up to $1.5 million expected to be available, individual awards not to exceed $500K.

 

HUD Assisted Housing Stability and Home Energy Retrofit Loan Pilot Program - $25 million
 

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.
 

EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection Solicits Grant Proposals to Address Children's Environmental Health - $1.5 million   

Application due: February 18, 2011

Eligible Entities: States and state agencies, territories, city or township governments, county governments, federally recognized American Indian Tribes, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, other public or private nonprofit institutions, and 501(c)(3) organizations

 

EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection is pleased to announce the release of a solicitation for grant proposals to address children's environmental health in underserved communities by building capacity for these communities to reduce environmental exposures in child-occupied settings (e.g. homes, schools and child care centers). Funds available for award are expected to total approximately $1.5 million, and EPA intends to award approximately 15-20 awards, each for an amount not to exceed $100,000.

 

DOC Economic Development Administration Public Works, Economic Adjustment, and Global Climate Change Mitigation Programs Opportunity - $25 million expected

Application Due: March 10, 2011

Eligible Entities: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes, non-profits, private institutes of higher education

 

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) helps distressed communities establish a foundation for durable regional economies throughout the United States. EDA generally allocates funds for the Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund (GCCMIF) to support projects that foster economic competitiveness while enhancing environmental quality. EDA anticipates that these funds will be used to advance the green economy by supporting projects that create jobs through and increase private capital investment in initiatives to limit the nation's dependence on fossil fuels, enhance energy efficiency, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and protect natural systems. 

 

EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Guidelines - $4 million

Application Due: March 18, 2011

Eligible Entities: State and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations, other

 

This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities, including non-profit organizations, to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs focused on hazardous and solid waste management, assessment, and cleanup-associated activities, as referenced in Section I.B., Use of Grant Funds. While Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants focus on hazardous and solid waste remediation and health and safety, including required core training in HAZWOPER, applicants may design their own curriculums by choosing what types of supplemental environmental training they want to provide.

 

Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program - $2 million

Application due: March 22, 2011 

Eligible Entities: Local public non-profits, federally-recognized Indian tribal government, Native American organizations, private non-profits, quasi-public nonprofits, local government, colleges, and universities

 

The Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) competitive grant program is a unique community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns from all sources.

The CARE grant program works with applicants and recipients to help their communities form collaborative partnerships, develop an understanding of the many local sources of toxic pollutants and environmental risks, set priorities, and identify and carry out projects to reduce risks through collaborative action at the local level. CARE's long-term goal is to help communities build self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve human health and local environments into the future.

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