Leading Environmental Justice and Religious Organizations Call for Action

Publisher Name: 
Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative (EJCC)

ATLANTA (January 28, 2002) -- Twenty-seven U.S. environmental
justice, climate justice, religious, policy, and advocacy groups announced
their unification today in a call for action from the Bush Administration
and Congress on climate change. The groups will be meeting in New York City
this week and have linked much of their efforts to issues related to the
World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

The coalition, called the Environmental Justice and Climate Change (EJCC)
Initiative, urges President Bush and Congressional leaders to take
immediate and just steps on climate change policy. This marks the first
time such groups have united to advance one agenda on climate change. The
EJCC Initiative supports energy efficiency, renewable energy, and
conservation policies while seeking equitable measures to protect and
assist the communities most affected by climate change.

People of color, indigenous people, low-income people and workers bear a
disproportionate impact of climate change. For decades, extreme and
unnecessary social, health, and economic impacts of a fossil fuel addicted
society have harshly penetrated these communities. As such, they are the
first victims of government inaction, corporate abuse, and negligent public
policy. "Environmental justice and climate change loom as major
environmental issues of the 21st century. Our industrial, energy,
transportation, and sprawl development policies and practices are major
contributors to climate change," said Robert Bullard, who directs the
Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. Bullard
has written several books on the subject, including "Unequal Protection"
(1996), "Just Transportation" (1997), "Dumping in Dixie" (2000), and
"Sprawl City" (2000). "The environmental justice community is fully engaged
in the battle for clean air and seeks to ensure that policy responses are
equitable," said Felicia Davis-Gilmore, who represents the Georgia
Coalition for the People's Agenda. "If Dr. King were alive today, we are
sure he would fight for environmental justice, " said 12-year old Atlantan
Illai Kenny of Kids Against Pollution (KAP). Davis-Gilmore accompanied
three KAP kids to the New York meeting. "Now is the time for this country's
leadership to take action and find solutions to climate change which has
long affected the poorest of our country's poor," said EJCC Initiative
Co-Chair Beverly Wright, who also directs the Deep South Center for
Environmental Justice at Xavier University in Louisiana. "The EJCC
Initiative will work toward ensuring future policy decisions won't be made
on the backs of those most affected."

"The U.S. is the major contributor to climate change, yet our government
has abdicated a leadership role to the long-term detriment of the world,"
said EJCC Initiative Co-Chair Ruben Solis. "We eagerly await the
President's State of the Union address tomorrow to see what, if any, action
this Administration will take to transition to a clean, just and
sustainable economy."

The twenty-seven environmental justice and climate justice grassroots
organizations that have joined the EJCC Initiative are:

Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Black Leadership Forum, Church
Federation of Greater Indianapolis, The Church of the Brethren, Communities
for a Better Environment, Concerned Citizens of NORCO, Corporate Watch,
Corporation for Enterprise Development, Council of Athabascan Tribal
Government, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Xavier
University, Eco Equity, Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark
Atlanta University, Georgia Coalition for a Peoples' Agenda, Indigenous
Environmental Network, Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, Just
Transition Alliance, Kids Against Pollution, National Black Environmental
Justice Network, Kids Against Pollution, Native Village of Unalakleet, New
York PIRG, Redefining Progress, Southern Organizing Committee, Southwest
Network for Economic and Environmental Justice, Southwest Public Worker's
Union, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, United
Methodist Church, University of Michigan-School of Natural Resources and
the Environment, West County Toxics Coalition, West Harlem Environmental
Action (WE ACT).

AMP Section Name:Climate Justice Initiative
  • 100 Climate Justice Initiative