Cities, towns, and metroregions across the United States and around the globe are developing or updating climate action plans. In recent years, the focus has shifted among mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability goals. But best practices now integrate equity: recognizing that frontline populations, including historically marginalized communities, often experience the worst impacts from climate change impacts while also not sharing in the benefits from transitioning to a low-carbon economy. These populations include Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), the elderly, children, physically and mentally disabled individuals, people experiencing homelessness, pregnant women, and immigrants. Local leaders are increasingly aware that many disparate impacts of climate change reflect the results of systemic discrimination, and they are exploring methods of integrating equity into climate planning while also taking advantage of opportunities to simultaneously address these longstanding disparities.
This panel of experts will discuss best practices in taking an equity-centered approach to local climate action planning, from meaningful and inclusive stakeholder engagement at the earliest stages through prioritizing bold yet achievable strategies, to implementation and ensuring accountability to all impacted communities.
Cynthia R. Harris, Deputy Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Darbi Berry, Director of Climate and Environmental Programs, San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative
Matt Gray, Former Chief of Sustainability, City of Cleveland, Ohio; Current Senior VP of Program, Student Conservation Association
Jennifer Li, Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor, Harrison Institute for Public Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Luis Martinez, Youth for Environmental Justice Alumni and Climate Adaptation and Resilience Enhancement (CARE) Lead Intern, Communities for a Better Environment
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