The Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative was founded in 2001 shortly after thousands of people from around the world gathered in The Hague, Germany for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 6th Conference of the Parties (COP6). During COP6, civil society groups coordinated the first Climate Justice summit as an official alternative forum to the COP6. Grassroots leaders shared stories of the impact of Climate Change and offered community based solutions for adaptation and mitigation. Several conference participants from the United States were inspired by the emerging global call for Climate Justice and saw the real need to develop a domestic counterpart. In April 2001, these participants founded The Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative as a project of Redefining Progress, a California based Environmental Policy organization. Over the past ten years the EJCC has emerged as a lead United States voice for justice and equity in domestic and international Climate Change conversations.
The mission of the Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative (EJCC) is to educate and to activate the people of North America towards the creation and implementation of just climate policies in both domestic and international contexts. EJCC membership is a diverse, consensus-based group of U.S. environmental justice, climate justice, religious, policy, and advocacy groups that represent hundreds of communities across the country.
The EJCC advances our mission through policy analysis, grassroots leadership and awareness building. As a practical matter, member organizations set the pace for EJCC activities. They conduct the on-the-ground work, independently and together in joint coalition activities.
In 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainability in Johannesburg, South Africa, The EJCC released “1o Principles for Just Climate Change Policies in the United States”.
1. Stop Cooking the Planet
Global climate change will accelerate unless we can slow the release of greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere. To protect vulnerable Americans, we must find alternatives for those human activities that cause
global climate change.
2. Protect and Empower Vulnerable Individuals and Communities
Low-income workers, people of color, and Indigenous Peoples will suffer the most from climate change’s
impact. We need to provide opportunities to adapt and thrive in a changing world.
3. Ensure Just Transition for Workers and Communities
No group should have to shoulder alone the burdens caused by the transition from a fossil fuel-based economy
to a renewable energy-based economy. A just transition would create opportunities for displaced workers and
communities to participate in the new economic order through compensation for job loss, loss of tax base, and
other negative effects.
4. Require Community Participation
At all levels and in all realms, people must have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. Decisionmakers
must include communities in the policy process. U.S. federal and state governments, recognizing their
government-to-government relationship, must work with tribes as well.
5. Global Problems Need Global Solutions
The causes and effects of climate change occur around the world. Individuals, communities, and nations must
work together cooperatively to stop global climate change.
6. The U.S. Must Lead
Countries that contribute the most to global warming should take the lead in solving the problem. The U.S. is
four percent of the world’s population but emits 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. All people should
have equal rights to the atmosphere.
7. Stop Exploration for Fossil Fuels
Presently known fossil fuel reserves will last far into the future. Fossil fuel exploration destroys unique cultures
and valuable ecosystems. Exploration should be halted as it is no longer worth the cost. We should instead
invest in renewable energy sources.
8. Monitor Domestic and International Carbon Markets
We must ensure that carbon emissions and sinks markets are transparent and accountable, do not
concentrate pollution in vulnerable communities, and avoid activities that harm the environment.
9. Caution in the Face of Uncertainty
No amount of action later can make up for lack of action today. Just as we buy insurance to protect against
uncertain danger, we must take precautionary measures to minimize harm to the global climate before it
10. Protect Future Generations
The greatest impacts of climate change will come in the future. We should take into account the impacts on
future generations in deciding policy today. Our children should have the opportunity for success through the
sustainable use of resources
The ten principles were developed by EJCC member organizations and continue to guide our work to support real and justice based solutions to Climate Change. The EJCC publishes reports, articles and promotional support for local, domestic and international Climate Justice advocacy. To read reports by EJCC and/or our ally organizations please visit our resource section. For more on EJCC in the news please visit our Media Room.