How We Restore Our Planet
We envision a world where regenerative economies ensure that both people and the planet are thriving.
Our dig, burn, dump economy is driving climate disruption, already taking lives through acute disasters and a slow boil of life support systems. As the world has witnessed increasing intensity and occurrence of natural disasters like hurricanes, typhoons, draughts, wildfires, and rising sea levels, it is clear that climate change poses an immediate threat to tens of millions of people around the world; and the most vulnerable – indigenous people, people of color, and people with lower incomes – are confronting its impacts first and worst.
To prevent the worst impacts of climate change, we need rapid, wholesale transformation of our economy.
Our vision is an ecologically regenerative economy that invests in a just transition away from fossil fuel-dependence for jobs and power and towards climate resilience and restoration. Our climate justice strategies restore the air-water-soil, provide livelihoods, meet community needs, and protect the most vulnerable peoples from the climate crises we have already created. Our vision is centered in environmental and economic justice, ensuring that individuals at the frontlines of climate change impacts have the most say in how we address the crisis, using solutions that emphasize local economies and local, democratic decision-making.
Federal, state, and local governments must embrace the following public policies that facilitate the just economic transition to a regenerative economy.
Restore Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination
- Abide by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and ensure the free, prior, and informed consent by Indigenous Peoples for all policies addressing climate change that affect Native land, water, energy, cultural properties, and other interests.
- Restore Indigenous Sovereignty and Treaty Rights
- Invest in Native American economic democracy and land justice initiatives
Ensure community-governance and care of collective resources
- Restore and protect coastal communities and ecosystems
- Ensure clean fresh water is a public right
- Establish democratic community-led landuse, conservation and green development processes
- Invest in municipally-owned internet utilities, especially rural broadband
Divest from climate destruction & reinvest in climate resiliency
- Divest public assets, institutions, and pension funds from the fossil fuel industry and other corporations built on environmental and social degradation, including private prisons and detention centers. Reinvest in community-owned just transition projects such as renewable energy, community-scale transit, local food systems, and other climate resiliency initiatives.
- Create municipal or state-based fees on big corporations and corporate polluters that would then be invested in community-led climate justice programs. Decisions over investments would be governed by a board of designated community members.
- Create zero interest and non-extractive loan platforms for direct investment into local green businesses
- Pay climate reparations to Global South nations
- Freeze all fossil fuel subsidies and shift them towards climate justice programs.
- Establish a Financial Transaction Tax
- Establish a Green Public Bank
Create green jobs for the people
- Establish a just transition for workers in extractive industries
- Invest in green and blue job training and opportunities for frontline communities
- Invest in protections, higher wages, and benefits for workers in the “care economy”
- Invest in job training, higher wages, and benefits for artists and cultural workers
- Support student and/or worker-led climate justice planning towards emissions neutrality, climate resiliency, and just transition of major employment sectors and education institutions.
Power communities with energy democracy
- Establish Energy Improvement Districts
- Establish a Community Ownership Power Administration
- Restore democratic governance of existing Rural Electric Cooperatives and resource their transition to renewables
- Ensure that existing publicly-owned energy infrastructure is transitioned to renewable energy and higher efficiency
- Establish Community Choice Energy Programs for local control of local utilities through purchasing power
Build regenerative agriculture systems
- Invest in emerging small-scale, worker-owned food production, processing, and service cooperatives.
- Prioritize resources for communities at the frontlines of land and food injustice, both urban and rural
- Establish pathways and protections for farmworkers
- Incentivize farming methods that prioritize agroecology, biodiversity, zero-waste and composting, carbon sequestration, organic methods, and minimal ecological footprints
Prevent disaster capitalism and commit to just recovery
- Establish community-participatory planning for climate change impact
- Invest in crumbling infrastructure that will support evacuation, migration, and survival during hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods, etc…
- Establish climate justice resiliency funds and programs
- Guarantee free access to communications, news, aid, and transportation during and following disasters
- Guarantee community-led rebuilding processes with transparent governance and resource allocation
Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
Scale of policy change (local, state, national): State
WHO – NY Renews, a coalition of nearly 200 environmental, justice, faith, labor, and community groups fighting for good jobs and climate justice across New York state.
WHAT – The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), also known as the Climate and Community Protection Act
WHERE – New York State
WHEN – The CCPA was signed into law in July 2020. NY Renews has been organizing for years, since the People’s Climate March of 2014.