The lack of U.S. policy to mitigate climate change has severe consequences for the safety or survival of communities worldwide. Global warming and climate change may be the greatest coming threat to our collective security. Diminished resources and massive displacement due to rising seas, regional crop failures, destructive storms, and desertification are likely to fuel future armed conflicts as well as increase ongoing communal violence. Climate change is also a divisive political issue—and in order to address the coming challenges, we will need to find common ground.
About the Program
Through Transforming the Conversation on Carbon Pricing dialogues, we work toward more collaborative, inclusive, effective action on climate change in the U.S. This initiative is a collaboration between Karuna Center, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Pricing Carbon Initiative, and Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
The goal of this initiative is to create a constructive space for leading advocates of carbon pricing policies and of environmental justice to talk together, about how to advance climate policy in ways that better include the concerns of vulnerable communities. This link is especially critical now, because exposure to pollution is one of the reasons COVID-19 is much deadlier for people of color in the U.S. than it is for white people. Pollution sources are disproportionately sited in communities of color, causing higher rates of some “pre-existing conditions.” New research further connects poor air quality with severe COVID-19.
In confidential dialogues, the project brings carbon pricing advocates (who seek a tax, or some kind of price, on carbon pollution) together with environmental justice leaders (who represent communities of color impacted disproportionately by pollution). A key focus of these dialogues is on ensuring that efforts to address overall emissions do not allow these deadly racial disparities to continue.
TCCP is the start of a conversation that we hope will increase understanding and respect for environmental justice in policy conversations about pricing carbon, and build common ground among a broader network to address climate change.
This initiative grew out of a partnership with Pricing Carbon Initiative (PCI), which is a broad network fostering dialogue and encouraging viable solutions that would put a price on carbon pollution in the US. We have partnered with PCI to hold national dialogues among stakeholders since 2011, when Karuna Center director Olivia Dreier helped plan and facilitate the Summit for Environmental Leaders that led to PCI’s formation. These dialogues are now held quarterly, and reach across the political aisle to involve more than 100 key organizations, ranging from environmentalists and progressive organizations to businesses and right-leaning think tanks.
More Than Just Talk: Dialogue and Environmental Justice
How can dialogue build common ground for equity and justice? What is the role of dialogue within our movements? How do we build effective alliances to end environmental injustice and support sustainability?
Our March 1 Karuna Connectors conversation with Olivia Dreier and Tina Johnson touched on these questions and more. For the past three years, Tina and Olivia have co-facilitated Transforming the Conversation on Carbon Pricing. This unique initiative brings a range of climate justice activists and policy advocates together for confidential dialogues that cultivate common ground.