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The Fair Climate Connection

May 26, 2011

Welcome back! 
We use this newsletter as a means to communicate news, events, best practices and upcoming opportunities related to fair climate solutions.
  
Have any field strategies, stories, events or successes you'd like to share in an upcoming issue of this newsletter? Email FairClimateProject@nwf.org so we can feature you!
  
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In this issue...
NWF Co-Hosts Southeast Fair Climate Summit
Fair Climate Network Member Spotlight: Vote Now and Often to Bring a Fruit Tree Orchard to a Deserving Columbia Neighborhood!
Communities of Color and Poor Communities Bear Burden of Air Pollution
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
Events
      

2nd Symposium on Sustainable Environmental Practices at Colleges and Universities in the Southeast: Greening Your Campus and Curriculum    
    June 6-7, 2011

    Spelman College in Atlanta,

      GA

Topics Include:

 The value of collaborating between EPA and academic institutions in the Southeast
 Campus sustainability efforts at Minority Academic Institutions (MAIs)
 Local food access for urban and community gardens
 Marketing your expertise to the public
 Guidance on securing funding
 Shaping tomorrow's environmental leaders  

  

National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials (NALEO) Annual Conference

    June 23 -25, 2011

    San Antonio, TX

 

Bridging the Gap: Expanding the Latino Agenda Into New Frontiers

    League of United Latin

     American Citizens (LULAC)

     National Convention & Expo

    June 27 - July 2, 2011

    Cincinnati, OH

 

America's Climate Choices
Hosted by the Union for Concerned Scientists and accessible at any time
 


 Climate Resilient Cities Program: Coastal Climate Adaptation in the Southeast (Available any time)
Presented by SACE (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy) and ICLEI's (Local Governments for Sustainability) Climate Adaptation Webinar series
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.

 

NWF Co-Hosts Southeast Fair Climate Summit

Summit facilitates discussion on climate change impacts and collaborative and equitable solutions

Social justice advocates, faith leaders, community members, and conservationists gathered in Jacksonville, FL on May 19-20 for the Southeast Fair Climate Summit.

 

Hosted by the National Wildlife Federation, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Democracia USA, St. Johns Riverkeeper and US Climate Action Network, the summit brought together community leaders to strengthen our collective understanding about the intersections between climate change, clean air and water, dirty energy, economic growth, and the health and safety of our communities.

5.26.2011 SE Summit
Summit attendees enjoyed a tour of the St. Johns river provided by the St. Johns Riverkeeper.

 

"This event created new and strengthened existing relationships among the attendees," said Felice Stadler, director of Programs and Operations of Global Warming Solutions for the National Wildlife Federation. "It is a forum to learn from and support each other's work and identify areas where collaboration can make our work more successful."  

 

The goals of the summit included:

  • Discussing critical issues related to the human and natural resource impacts of climate change in the Southeast
  • Sharing success stories and model initiatives for building resilient, sustainable communities
  • Mapping out current capacity across the Southeast and discussing ways to further build our collective capacity
  • Strengthening relationships among leaders committed to creating resilient communities and equitable solutions to climate change 
  • Identifying potential areas for future collaboration

More than 60 people from around the region and around the country attended. Speakers included U.S. Congresswoman Corrine Brown (FL-3rd District).


Activities included a tour of the St. Johns River guided by the St. Johns Riverkeeper, where participants learned about challenges such as waste from paper plants and invasive species and larval blooms.  

Fair Climate Network Member Spotlight: Vote Now and Often to Bring a Fruit Tree Orchard to a Deserving Columbia Neighborhood!

 Fruit orchard

By Joe James, Fair Climate Network member and President of  The Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO)
 

A deserving Columbia neighborhood is in the top 10 to receive a community fruit tree orchard, but more votes are needed to assure Columbia is a winner.


Joe James, President of the Columbia-based, Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO), a non-profit which seeks to enhance the economic status and quality of life in low-income, minority communities, is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the City of Columbia and is in the midst of a national competition for a city neighborhood, yet to be determined, to win a fruit tree orchard, as part of the Communities Take Root Program.  A member of the Fair Climate Network, Joe was pleased with the warm reception this initiative received at the Southeast Fair Climate Summit, last week in Jacksonville, Florida, and he hopes everyone will register and vote often to support the initiative.

 

"I think this is one of those small but significant things many communities can do to help their residents, while helping clean up the environment.  CEO hopes to help other Fair Climate Network members apply next year", James said.

 

Communities Take Root is an annual program to provide neighborhood residents with locally-grown sources of fresh fruit, by planting fruit tree orchards in deserving communities throughout the United States.  Communities Take Root is sponsored by Edy's Fruit Bars and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to planting fruit trees to support healthy nutrition worldwide.

 

In addition to increasing the availability of healthy, fresh fruit in an underserved community, the orchard will have several positive environmental impacts, including reducing "food miles" and lower CO2 levels, as well as cleaning up the air generally.  Inner-city youngsters will get a better idea of where food comes from. 

 

Beginning April 15th, Edy's Fruit Bars invited people across the United States to cast their vote to help twenty more communities blossom, one orchard at a time.  Last year, tens of thousands of people voted to help select which neighborhoods would receive a public orchard. After the votes were tallied, "It was amazing to witness people from all walks of life coming together in each community to help plant the fruit trees," says Jia Li, Fruit Bars Associate Brand Manager.  "Edy's is passionate about helping neighborhoods become greener, healthier and of course, sweeter."

 

The voting process for "Communities Take Root" will run from April 15 - August 31, 2011.  Although Columbia's vote tally is already in the top 10, nationally, CEO is hoping that many more people will visit www.CommunitiesTakeRoot.com  and register to cast their vote, once daily, for the City of Columbia project.  The top five, vote-getting communities will be announced as winners, each month, and receive a fruit tree orchard, from June through September, 2011, with a total of 20 new orchards awarded this year. 

 

CEO  encourages the development of "green" initiatives in minority communities, like inner-city farmers markets, to both improve health by increasing community access to fresh fruits and vegetables, but to also save energy by reducing the miles that much of our food is transported.  Thanks to the orchard, inner-city youngsters will also get a better understanding about how food is grown, as they plant and tend to the orchard, CO2 rates will be reduced and the community's air will be cleaner. CEO has operated a vibrant Community Farmers Market at Brookland Baptist Church, in West Columbia, for the last two years.  It re-opened, for the season, on May 20th, and will operate each Friday from 1pm to 5:45pm.
 

 

 

Communities of Color and Low-income Communities Bear Burden of Air Pollution

(Press release from Earthjustice and the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark-Atlanta University)

Contact: Jared Saylor, Earthjustice (202) 667-4500, x213 Emily Enderle, Earthjustice (202) 253-2397 Dr. Robert Bullard, Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark-Atlanta University (678) 725-0435

air pollution

 

EPA public hearings this week are filled with stories of poor communities and people of color fighting illness and health impacts from power plant air toxics.

 

Earthjustice and the Environmental Justice Research Center at Clark Atlanta University have collaborated to compile data for coal-fired power plant pollution and the impacts on low income communities and communities of color for EPA Region IV, which includes Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. The environmental justice trend for coal plant pollution and the disproportionate burden on these communities presents itself nationally and is magnified in EPA Region IV.

 

A recent proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would cut mercury, lead, arsenic and particle pollution from hundreds of coal-fired power plants across the country. The plan would save 17,000 lives, prevent 120,000 asthma attacks, and result in air quality improvements valued at $59 billion to $140 billion each year. The EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to reduce this pollution, Americans would see $5 to $13 in health benefits.

 

But Dr. Robert Bullard, director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University, sees these numbers as only part of the story. "It's well known that communities of color and low income communities bear the disproportionate share of the deaths and illnesses associated with pollution from coal-fired power plants," Dr. Bullard said. "The EPA's proposal to reduce toxic air emissions from power plants would help to improve this tragic inequality by cutting toxic emissions that have been proven to cause cancer, asthma and respiratory disease, cardiovascular ailments, and thousands of premature deaths annually."

 

For example, Mississippi and Alabama are the two states in the nation with the most disproportionate siting of coal-filed power plants for populations living below the poverty line, and Tennessee is among the top five with the worst disproportionate impact to people of color.

 

The greatest disparity in Region IV as compared to the nation as a whole is in regards to communities of color. As of 2000, the most recent Census data available for this study (2010 Census data is not yet available for ZIP codes), minorities comprised 24.9% of our nation's population. Nationally, the percentage of people of color living next to coal-fired power plants is 21.7%. In EPA Region IV, the percentage people of color living near these facilities- 30.0% -is significantly higher than the national average. This figure means that the people of color living in the same ZIP code as a coal-fired power plant in Region IV is 20% greater than would be expected based on the national average.

 

In Alabama, the people of color near coal plants is 46% higher than the statewide average would predict; in Mississippi it is 34% higher; and in Tennessee there is nearly twice as high a likelihood for non-white individuals to be living near coal plants as would be expected given the state average.

 

The burdens of coal combustion and, ultimately, the threat of diseases and deaths brought about by air pollution, are also borne unequally nationwide by those living in poverty, with a more dramatic disproportionate impact in the Southeast. The national percentage of those living in poverty is 11.9%. Near coal plants nationwide, the poverty rate is 12.9%. In Region IV, the poverty rate of those living near coal plants is 14.9%. As with people of color, the numbers of low-income communities are particularly concentrated near coal plants in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

In Alabama (24.5%) and Mississippi (26.5%), the poverty rate near coal plants is more than twice the national average. In Tennessee the number of people living below the poverty line near coal plants is 41% higher than would be expected from the national average.

 

"These regional numbers tell a story that is all too common in communities across the country - low income communities and communities of color are disproportionately located near and impacted by the pollution coming from coal-fired power plants.  Cleaning up this pollution will save as much as $140 billion annually while helping improve the lives of millions of Americans living near these facilities and breathing dirty air," said Emily Enderle, legislative representative at Earthjustice. "The public hearings the EPA held this week in Philadelphia and Chicago were mainly attended by concerned citizens who support cleaning up these big polluters. We expect the hearing in Atlanta today to be no different. Americans want and deserve clean air." 

 

Funding Opportunities 

 

For a listing of many available grants, please check out this page on the Environmental Protection Agency website. The majority of grants listed there are open to non-profits, tribal oganizations, and institutions of high education.

  

DOC Green Economies - $6 million
Application Due: May 26, 2011
Eligible Applications: District organizations, federally recognized tribes, state or local governments, institutes of higher education, nonprofits, or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a state
 
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, requests proposals for i6 Green. This multi-agency competition focuses on the nexus between economic development and environmental quality, spotlighting the best ideas that contribute to a vibrant, innovative, clean economy. Applicants must address a persistent problem or an unaddressed opportunity with a sense of urgency and demonstrate how an i6 Green Proof of Concept Center will avoid duplication of existing efforts, remove road blocks, and spark sustainable economic opportunities in the applicant's region. Letters of Intent are required, and are due 5/2/11, final proposals due 5/26/11. For more info, including regional contacts, go to: http://www.eda.gov/i6. Refer to Sol# I6GREENEDA031011.  

 

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

Application Due: June 10, 2011
Eligible Applications: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes, nonprofits, private institutes of higher education
 
DOC's 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. 
  

DOE Weatherization Formula Grants- Likely to be approximately $210 million

Application Due: Varies by program year
Eligible Applications: Agencies that administer the WAP program
 
DOE requests proposals for the Weatherization Assistance Program Formula Grant. The purpose of WAP is to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce residential expenditures, and improve health and safety. Lead applicants must be agencies that administer the WAP program. Proposals due date varies by prime applicant's program year. Grantees will be notified as soon as an update on FY 2011 funding becomes available. For planning purposes, until a final budget is passed and signed by the President, grantees should proceed with their respective plans using the same funding level as the DOE 2010 appropriated funds. For more info, contact Meghaan Hampton at Meghaan.Hampton@netl.doe.gov or go to: https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/?doc=DE-FOA-0000446&agency=DOE

 

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