Systems that are in place now, energy, finance, agriculture, transportation, and politics, have contributed to centuries of injustice in Louisiana and have resulted in deep inequities in New Orleans. These systems are also the root of our changing climate. More and more people agree that deep-decarbonization of all of these systems are needed. So as we all finally make the shifts needed to solve the climate crisis, will we make changes that cement and maintain those old systems? Or do we acknowledge that the old ways that got us here, extracting health, safety, and justice from communities around the world along with fossil fuels, won't get us where we need to go?
Since 2018, the Alliance has been part of a group effort led by the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, in collaboration with community leaders and the City of New Orleans to find answers to these questions. This Climate Action Equity Project started with the City's Climate Action Strategy, first released in 2017, and took it on the road to communities around the city. Working with leaders from neighborhood associations and subject matter experts, the Project asked the question, "how do we put this strategy to work for everyone?"
The City's climate strategy looks at four sectors where climate action is needed, Energy, Transportation, Waste, and Culture/Workforce, and lays out a plan to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030. Taking Steps on Equity & Climate Change: A report by and for New Orleanians, released on September 30, is the result of a year of community meetings in New Orleans, and developing plans and recommendations from that input, to ensure that climate action in the city empowers people.
Climate change is already impacting Louisiana. The Alliance is committed to continuing our work to change the systems that are causing the warming of our planet, the rising of our seas, and the inequities that hurt those who can least afford it. This project will inform our work as we fight to reduce energy burdens, add more renewable energy, and support an equitable energy system that works for everyone.
Take a look at the report, and see how you can take your own action.
Also take a look at what folks are saying about it.