Climate Justice Report

Now available in both print and free PDF formats.

Edited by M. Paloma Pavel, PhD, with the Breakthrough Communities Team

Foreword by Carl Anthony

Summary  In the face of global crisis and in response to California’s leadership in the field of global warming, climate justice advocates and organizations in California are writing a new chapter in the struggle for social justice. We are living at a critical moment in planetary evolution. After four hundred generations, the period of the Earth’s stable climate is ending. The evidence of this change is now widely documented: melting polar ice caps, sea level rise, extreme weather events and widespread flooding and drought.

The runaway economy itself is in crisis, driven by the myopic short-term goals of the world’s largest corporations in pursuit of private profit. The majority of the world’s people are living in poverty, being uprooted and forced away from the land and into the cities in search of livelihoods. Already at risk, these populations are placed in greater danger by the current global climate crises. In response, a global climate justice movement is emerging, demanding fairness in the distribution of the benefits and burdens of climate change processes.

This book presents the highlights of what the San Francisco Bay Area Six Big Wins Coalition accomplished and a brief summary of our planning efforts. After many letter writing campaigns, power analyses, turn-out sessions for public meetings, a highlight of the process came when we introduced the Equity, Environment and Jobs scenario into the regional planning debate. This was a major accomplishment. Social justice advocates had never before created a unified transportation and land use plan for achieving equity throughout the nine-county region. Our scenario called for greater investment in operating local transit services, increased allocation of affordable housing in transit-connected suburban communities of opportunity, and a regional grant program creating incentives for local cities to zone for affordable housing and implement protections against displacement.

This book presents a rare opportunity to see and understand how grassroots groups from historically disenfranchised communities perceived the challenges of California Assembly Bill 32 and Senate Bill 375 and how they responded and rose to the challenges, bringing about breakthroughs in public policy. The work undertaken by individuals and groups on the front lines, over a three-year period is recounted in their own voices—with passion and enthusiasm, with the knowledge and authority of communities that have been working collaboratively on a range of issues for a long time.

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Published by Human Development Books, in cooperation with

Sample illustrations from Climate Justice: