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The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident around the globe. Longer droughts, rising sea levels, and more frequent natural disasters impact countless people and communities. These events oftentimes more greatly affect populations who contribute least to environmental change or those with fewer resources available to mitigate the damage it causes to their communities. This collection examines the ways climate change affects vulnerable communities and populations and brings together knowledge and insights that highlight the impact foundations and nonprofits are having in addressing it.

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Featured

Winning on Climate Change: How Philanthropy Can Spur Major Progress over the Next Decade

August 17, 2023

Over the next 10 years, major progress against climate change is entirely possible, and philanthropy has an important role to play. Through interviews with experts and building on previous work with actors in the field, this report identifies three climate philanthropy practices that will be especially important in the decade ahead. 

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Housing, land and property in the context of climate change, disasters and displacement

July 10, 2023

This brief presents the Norwegian Refugee Council's knowledge and experience in addressing housing, land and property (HLP) issues associated with climate change, disasters and displacement, including those often aggravated by conflict. It is not a comprehensive catalogue of HLP issues, nor does it present the full breadth of NRC's operations. Rather, it reflects the organisation's experience in delivering information counselling and legal assistance (ICLA), shelter and settlements and other programmes, and draws on its role as lead and co-lead of inter-agency coordination. The brief documents examples of NRC's operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mozambique, Somalia and South Sudan, countries also identified for the work of the Special Adviser.

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Data Science for Water Justice: Climate Change and Drought in the Colorado River Basin

April 18, 2023

Climate change threatens the hydrological cycle the globe over, increasing the likelihood of extreme events and dramatically altered ecosystems. The impacts of these events are most felt by those least able to adapt or move away from them. This paper uses a global framework to identify key data science engagement points, and illustrates these points in the case of the Colorado River Basin (CRB), a social-ecological system that provides a case study emblematic of many climate change accelerated water justice challenges.

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The Power to Win: Black, Latiné, and Working Class Community Organizing on the Climate Crisis

March 20, 2023

After decades of warnings from scientists and activists, the climate crisis is no longer a prognosis of what is to come, it is the definitive reality of our world. In the last 50 years, global carbon emissions have risen by 90%, and this past April marked the highest recorded levels of CO2 in human history.Our use of fossil fuels is costing us our lives. Each year, we are experiencing the rapidly increasing effects of this industry-caused crisis: intense droughts and heatwaves, stronger and more frequent hurricanes, increased flooding from risingseas, blazing wildfires, and more.While corporations and the wealthy are responsible for the continued production of the carbon emissions that drive climate change, Black, Indigenous, Latiné, low-income communities, and the global south —the people who have the lowest carbon footprint—are the most impacted by the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Black people, in particular, are 75% more likely than white people to reside near incinerators, coal power stations, or in low-lying areas at risk of flooding.Because of historic environmental racism, disinvestment, poor infrastructure, and lack of resources, these communities are far less equipped to prepare for and recover from climate disasters, placing them at far greater risk of the multitude of traumas that climate disasters unleash. Accordingly, these communities are also on the frontlines of the very work needed to transform the crisis. As the largest network of grassroots organizations in the US, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and our 48 affiliates play a vital role in building the power necessary to tackle the climate crisis. CPD's affiliate organizations are based in the very Black, Latiné, and low-income communities that are most disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. For nearly a decade, the community organizations of the CPD network have fought for and won significant change at the federal, state, and local levels—all while being significantly under-resourced for this work.

Climate Change: A series of Case Studies on South African Funder's Climate Journeys

February 5, 2024

Climate change is an increasingly pressing global issue that requires an immediate and concerted response to limit its most catastrophic consequences. Funders can play a key role in responding to climate change, however, funder responses to climate change have historically been relatively limited.That said, more funders are beginning to acknowledge the urgency with which climate change needs to be addressed and are increasingly seeing the impacts that climate change has on the often vulnerable communities that they serve. These climate change impacts have further implications for funders' work on other socio-economic challenges, with the communities that they serve facing additional challenges relating to food security, water scarcity, environmental damage, and heat waves.

Philanthropic Foundation Funding for Clean Air: Advancing climate action, health and social justice

January 15, 2024

An analysis of funding from philanthropic foundations to tackle air pollution between 2015 and 2022. We identify funding trends, gaps and opportunities for philanthropies to maximise the benefits of their investments.

Climate Change in the American Mind: Beliefs & Attitudes, Fall 2023

January 10, 2024

This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Interview dates: October 20 – 26, 2023. Interviews: 1,033 adults (18+). Average margin of error: +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Advancing Climate Equity Through Community Benefits Hubs

January 1, 2024

As billions of dollars are being invested into new clean energy hubs to decarbonize the industrial sector, we must also build up the connective social infrastructure and support systems to ensure that the benefits of those investments flow to the disadvantaged communities most affected by climate change. Climate equity involves ensuring the just distribution of the benefits of climate protection efforts and alleviates unequal burdens created by climate change. The Community Benefits Hub framework aims to:strengthen disadvantaged communities through capacity building and technical assistance;empower community representatives through participation and agency in decision making processes; andensure accountability of the benefits flowing to those communities.

Concern for Climate Change Directly Informs Youth Civic Engagement

December 14, 2023

In December 2023, nations from around the world gathered at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). The climate issue has been a central concern of young activists and voters in recent years, and ranked among the top 5 issues for youth in the months leading up to COP28.Youth concern about climate presents an important opportunity to engage a diverse group of youth and support their leadership. However, we need to better understand the relationships different youth have to the issue and how their distinct attitudes and experiences, as well as differences in their backgrounds and access to resources, shape what it takes to involve them in meaningful action.This report, based on new data from CIRCLE's nationally representative survey of young people (ages 18-34) ahead of the 2024 election, examined patterns in young people's relationship to climate change in order to inform how organizations communicate with and reach youth with an understanding of how different youth approach this critical global issue. Our analysis identified four groups of youth whose connection—or lack thereof—to the climate issue can influence future efforts to engage them.

When Communities Keep Flooding: A Rural Environmental Justice Case Study

December 7, 2023

We all want to live in places that are safe and able to respond to disasters. But right now, many rural communities and Native nations — especially communities of color and low-wealth places — experience repeated devastating flooding.Repeated flooding is an environmental justice issue for both urban and rural communities, but rural communities need rural solutions when confronting natural disasters and associated recovery efforts, as detailed in our call to action, Through Natural Disaster to Prosperity.The drivers of repeated flooding in rural communities are complex, including climate, unsustainable approaches to development, and structural inequity. Still, rural people across the country are working diligently and creatively on home-grown solutions.The communities and organizations profiled in this case study are all working hard to address the causes and conditions contributing to flooding in their areas, as well as to envision and build thriving futures of equitable rural prosperity.They generously shared their thoughts, focusing on two key questions:What structural challenges keep rural communities from addressing repeated flooding?What will it take for rural communities to drive their own solutions to repeated flooding?

Beyond Compliance: Preliminary Findings from an Investigation of Climate and Flooding Data Systems in the United States

December 6, 2023

Government agencies and researchers in the United States have collected and shared environmental and climate data for decades in an effort to understand how climate change is impacting our communities, infrastructures, industries, and ecosystems. Much of this data is open in theory; many datasets maintained by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are required to make their data publicly available and usable.But large gaps in available data and granularity issues prevent meaningful public use. Other sources—municipal governments, university researchers, and community data collection projects—can help fill data gaps. Still, these sources face their own challenges, such as unclear licensing agreements, limited resources or technical capacity, as well as equity concerns (including data collection procedures that result in poorer quality data regarding low income neighborhoods).Modernizing this data infrastructure, as well as channels for integrating information from different sources, can support actors both within and outside of government to use this wealth of data for a variety of purposes.As part of the larger Beyond Compliance initiative, which aims to make government-derived environmental data more accessible and usable to a diversity of users and for a range of purposes, we are investigating challenges and opportunities related to data in the context of climate change resilience and adaptation planning.

This is Planet Ed: School Board Member Climate Action Toolkit

December 6, 2023

This toolkit, developed in partnership with UndauntedK12, School Board Partners, and This is Planet Ed, an initiative of the Aspen Institute Energy & Environment Program, supports school board members to understand their role in driving meaningful climate solutions. School board members can collaborate with district leaders, youth, and community leaders to pass resolutions and develop climate action plans for their districts. These local K-12 climate action plans, similar to those embraced by city governments, utilize community needs and strengths as guiding principles for schools. These plans enable educational institutions to:Reduce Climate Pollution: Implement strategies to decrease the pollution harming our health and driving climate change.Prepare for Climate Impacts: Develop greater resilience against the challenges posed by climate change.Educate Students: Educate students about climate change, climate solutions and inspire action.Advance Equity: Prioritize communities that are most impacted by climate change and are at the center of decisions and schools.