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The Fair Climate Connection 
August 18, 2011

We use this newsletter as a means to communicate news, 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!
Hot, Hot Hot: New Climate Data Shows July was 7th-Hottest on Record Globally
NWF's Southeast Regional Center is awarding grants to Atlanta schools for creating gardens on campus
New Fuel Efficiency Rules a Win for Wildlife, Consumers, Economy
Featured Funding Opportunity for Community-Based Projects
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.

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New Climate Data Shows July was 7th-Hottest on Record Globally by Miles Grant, NWF

New data confirms what you already knew - July was incredibly hot, one of the warmest on record.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center just released its recap of July 2011. Here are some of the highlights:
· Persistent, scorching heat in the central and eastern United States during July 2011 contributed to the nation's fourth-warmest July on record.
· The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for July 2011 was the seventh warmest on record, at 16.37°C (61.43°F), which is 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F).
· For the year-to-date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 14.31°C (57.82°F) was the 11th warmest January-July period on record. This value is 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 20th century average.
· The average Arctic sea ice extent during July was 21.6 percent below average, ranking as the smallest July extent since satellite records began in 1979. The extent was 81,000 square miles (210,000 square kilometers) below the previous July record low, set in 2007.

"We've had another unusually warm month and are on the way to another unusually hot year, but the reality is that these conditions are the new normals that we all need to get used to," said Dr. Amanda Staudt, climate scientist with the National Wildlife Federation.

Here's one example of our new normal: We're on pace for the 35th consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th century average. That means your humble blogger has never been alive in a year with global temperatures at or below the 20th century average.

You can get more details at the NOAA NCDC State of the Climate page, including this map of July extreme weather events. To read Dr. Staudt's reports on the connection between climate change and extreme weather, visitNWF.org/ExtremeWeather.

The new data comes on the same day that Politifact looked into the climate science consensus, reporting that while politicians may find it to be an inconvenient truth, "there is significant scientific consensus that human beings are contributing to global warming."


NWF's Southeast Regional Center is awarding grants to Atlanta schools for creating gardens on campus

The National Wildlife Federation's Southeast Regional Center in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and Captain Planet Foundation is awarding $500 grants to Atlanta schools who are willing to start or refurbish pollinator gardens on their campuses. The grants will provide educators and school communities the funds and materials necessary to start a pollinator garden. Pollinator gardens are made up of many types of flowers varying in color that attract pollinators throughout the season such as birds, hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies etc.

Na'Taki Osborne Jelks, manager of education and advocacy programs for NWF Southeast, says the grants are not difficult to obtain but require an application with a well-planned project.

"We look for thoughtful projects that include a high degree of student involvement in its implementation and use of the federation's Schoolyard HabitatsŪ Web site. Past grant winners have demonstrated a high level of community involvement in their project plans and had goals that align with those of the Schoolyard HabitatsŪ program," Jelks said.

All public elementary, middle, junior high and high schools are eligible to receive a grant. The Southeast Regional Center will distribute 35 grants throughout the city and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all grant funds are expended. Applications can be downloaded HERE and applicants will receive notification of award within two weeks.

To help reconnect today's children to the outdoors, the National Wildlife Federation assists schools in developing outdoor classrooms called Schoolyard HabitatsŪ, where educators and students learn how to attract and support local wildlife. These wildlife habitats become places where students not only learn about wildlife species and ecosystems, but also outdoor classrooms where they hone their academic skills and nurture their innate curiosity and creativity.
New Fuel Efficiency Rules a Win for Wildlife, Consumers, Economy

Widely-Welcomed Standards Still Face Extremist Political Attack

by Miles Grant, NWF 


President Obama is set to unveil a framework for new car and light truck fuel efficiency standards on Friday. The new standards would raise fuel efficiency standards to a 54.5 miles per gallon equivalent by 2025, resulting in a dramatic reduction in America's oil dependence and carbon pollution.


"Whether you're a commuter in a compact car or a sportsman who needs a pickup truck, every American deserves to access to the most fuel-efficient, technologically-advanced vehicles that save them money, cut pollution, and deliver great performance," said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "These rules are an important step toward reducing our billion-dollar-a-day addiction to imported oil, money that stronger fuel efficiency standards will keep at home to invest in job creation here in America."


However, the fiscal year 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill as currently being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would block the agreement on the new fuel efficiency standards. The rider is just one of many political attacks on wildlife, air, water and public health in the bill.


"A broad range of interests - from automakers to unions to conservationists - has come together behind these new rules," said Larry Schweiger. "The technology is ready, the standards are achievable, and poll after poll shows the American people strongly support getting the job done. We all benefit from robust standards to cut our oil dependence, create American jobs, and protect wildlife and public health, and we stand ready to defend these gains from extremist, politically-motivated attacks."


The new standards would raise car fuel efficiency standards 5 percent annually between 2017 and 2025, while light trucks would be required to reach an annual gain of 3.5 percent between 2017 and 2021 and 5 percent between 2022 and 2025.


Read more here



Featured Funding Opportunity for Community-Based Projects  

The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) recently implemented its North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) program. The objective of the NAPECA program is to empower and build the capacity of local peoples and organizations to improve their health and environmental quality.

The NAPECA program seeks to support efforts at the grassroots level. NAPECA has put up $1.4 million to provide/fund grants over the next two years to support communities in their efforts to locally address environmental problems across North America. This work at the community level is an integral part of delivering on the CEC trilateral priorities and objectives.


Eligible applicants for this funding include nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), environmental groups, community-based associations, academic institutions, Tribal nations, and indigenous peoples and communities.


Grantees must be located in Canada, Mexico or the United States. NAPECA will not support businesses, private individuals, municipal, provincial/state, territorial and federal governments. However, proposals from qualified organizations partnering with the private sector or local government are eligible.


More information on this funding opportunity can be found here.



Funding Opportunities