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The The Inflation Reduction Act and News from The Climate Mobilization

The Inflation Reduction Act 

Yesterday President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, ushering in the largest US federal government investment in tackling the climate emergency, while simultaneously providing give-aways to the fossil fuel industry which will continue to warm the planet and harm marginalized communities. There is much more work to be done to counter the dangerous provisions of this bill, and to push for more action. Catastrophic warming is at our doorstep, and we cannot let our elected officials rest on the laurels of this bill, which provides only the smallest of first steps, rather than the kind of systemic change required. 

Key successes and failings of the Inflation Reduction Act (Thank you to the Climate Justice Alliance for their analysis!):

Upsides:

  • Funding through the IRA could aid state efforts to reduce emissions.
  • A win for air quality. Millions of dollars are earmarked to reduce diesel emissions, reduce pollution surrounding schools, and to increase air quality monitoring in low-income communities.
  • Block grants will be made available for community-led projects that reduce emissions in low-income areas.

Downsides:

  • Rebates for home energy efficiency improvements may be meant to help low income households, but up-front costs will likely keep these upgrades out of reach.
  • Appropriation language for upgrades to affordable housing is too broadly defined and may leave room for funding false solutions that do nothing to mitigate dangerous emissions.
  • This bill does not slow down the fossil fuel industry in a direct way.

Dark-sides:

  • Increases in fossil fuel production: Reinstating offshore oil and gas leases, giving oil and gas companies preferential access to leases.
  • Tax credits for polluters who capture part of their pollution at the source, rather than incentives to lower overall production of harmful emissions. 

Next Stop: Declare a Climate Emergency

After signing the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden’s next step must be declaring a national climate emergency, to use all of the tools at his disposal to radically reduce emissions, and ensure a safe, sustainable future for all. Declaring a national climate emergency can open up further avenues for supporting communities that have been bearing the brunt of pollution and extractive practices for decades. 

During our webinar discussing a National Climate Emergency Declaration and other paths forward for climate action, we heard from Joye Braun, National Pipelines Campaign Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network, Madeline Cruz of Housing and Climate Justice for Acton and Nohemi Palomino of Roseland Community Building Initiative — two successful local organizers growing the movement for a just transition to a zero-emissions economy — and moderator Michél Legendre, Climate Mobilization board member and longtime organizer.

You can watch a recording of the webinar here, and view our calls to action here.

Climate Progress in the news

Massachusetts has passed a historic climate bill of its own. Among the bill’s provisions is a requirement that by 2030 all new cars sold in the state will be zero-emissions vehicles. Most of the bill remains unfunded and awaits future funding measures to implement its provisions. This bill also allows 10 Massachusetts cities to get around the authority of a planning board which governs building codes in the state to ban fossil fuel hookups in new construction. The city of Boston is now seeking similar dispensation, hoping to enact a ban of its own. 

Spain’s Prime Minister has announced a temporary measure to provide fare free transit on some train routes throughout that country to help ease inflation. The fare-free transit will be paid for by a new tax on fossil fuel companies and banks.   

Macon, Georgia is experimenting with pop-up bike lanes to improve safety and accessibility for cycling in the city’s downtown. 

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Alexia Leclerq

Network Coach

Alexia (she/they) is an environmental justice organizer based in Austin, TX. They graduated summa cum laude from NYU (’20), where they self-designed a major titled “The Politics and Economics of Inequality.” Their research focuses on political ecology, environmental justice, AAPI communities, inequality, postcolonialism. As an organizer and researcher they have spent the past 5 years working on various issues from preserving the Colorado River, water rights, fighting land use policy and zoning that enforces race-based discrimination, conducting ethnographic research on climate health, to organizing mutual aid, youth programming, and shaping national legislation alongside members of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance; today Alexia continues to work as an organizer with PODER, a grassroots EJ org. Alexia is also the co-founder of Start: Empowerment, a BIPOC led social and environmental justice education non-profit working with youth, educators, activists, and community members to implement justice-focused education and programming in schools and community spaces. S:E curriculum and programming has reached over 2,000 students, been recognized by the NYC Department of Education, and taught in universities. In 2021, their work was recognized by the prestigious Brower Youth Award.

Emmett Hopkins

National Organizer

Emmett organizes local-scale mobilization for the Sonoma County campaign, while supporting Climate Mobilization’s organizing efforts around the country. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to build community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition to an amazing zero carbon future. He graduated from Stanford with a BS in Earth Systems and MS in Urban Planning & Sustainable Design. Emmett enjoys growing food and cultivating relationships, riding bikes and buses, and reimagining our communities to better serve all the people living in them.

Suha Dabbouseh

National Organizer

National Organizer Suha Dabbouseh leads national strategy for The Climate Mobilization. They are originally from Chicago but have lived, organized and rebel-roused in seven states and 11 cities. Suha received their law degree from CUNY-School of Law where they focused on social justice lawyering representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay. While practicing law, Suha had worked to advocate on behalf of domestic violence survivors, transgender clients and fighting employment discrimination. Their passion is building people power and organizing to dismantle structural inequities.

Matt Renner

Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization

Matt has worked as a nonprofit executive in clean energy, climate policy, and journalism for over a decade, focusing on the near-term social and economic impacts of climate change. He leads organizational expansion and works closely with the communications and organizing teams. Matt earned a BA in political science from UC Berkeley, where he was deeply inspired by the work of Professor George Lakoff.

Mariyah Jahangiri

Network Organizer

Mariyah leads Climate Mobilization Network’s recruitment, coordination, and organizing support. She has organized across movements and is passionate about addressing white supremacy in the mainstream climate movement and building capacity for youth-led, BIPOC-led intersectional climate movements. She has been inspired by her experiences organizing to defund the police in Boston, supporting mutual aid and food sovereignty projects in Iowa, Atlanta, and Puerto Rico, and working on a Make Big Polluters Pay campaign. Mariyah worked as an organizer with the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign and Planned Parenthood PAC. She graduated from Grinnell College with a Sociology degree.

Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Organizing

Rebecca leads Climate Mobilization organizing efforts. Along with a history of social movement organizing, Rebecca he has worked as a journalist covering equity in Chicago public schools. Most recently, Rebecca worked as Development and Communications Manager at Latino Union of Chicago, an immigrants’ and workers’ rights organization. She is a 2017 graduate of the Reframe Mentorship in strategic communications and a 2019 participant in the Anne Braden Organizer Training Program.

Marina Mails

Co-Leader and Director of Operations
Marina manages operations and volunteers for both The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. She brings broad experience working in non-profit organizations, health care settings, and running her own private counseling practice. Before joining Climate Mobilization, Marina maintained a practice focusing exclusively on climate-related emotional coping, helping people make bold choices for lifestyle and professional change in response to the Climate Emergency. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Wake Forest University and a Masters in Counseling from UNC Greensboro.

Meghann Beer

Co-Leader and Director of Resource Mobilization and Strategy

Meghann brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience to The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. For over a decade Meghann has worked as a nonprofit consultant helping organizations expand their capacity, secure revenue, develop successful strategies, and effectively evaluate their programs, enabling them to create greater positive change in the world. She has also worked as an executive director, designed and facilitated international service learning experiences, and taught university courses in fundraising and nonprofit management. Meghann earned a MPA in Nonprofit Management and Comparative and International Affairs from The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, in Bloomington, IN and a BA in Art History and American Studies from Tufts University in Boston, MA.

Cris Lagunas

Strategy Director

Cris is helping to grow the Climate Emergency Movement by supporting creative campaigns and extending the reach of the movement’s message. Cris is a co-founder of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, an organization dedicated to using direct action tactics to expose, challenge and dismantle the immigration detention system.Cris got his start in organizing when he was 15 years old, getting involved in a local group of fellow undocumented youth.

Zack Burley

Policy Associate

Zack provides policy support for the Climate Mobilization team, and brings a versatile set of policy skills and experiences in labor organizing, journalism, legislative politics, and legal practice to the climate emergency movement. Zack earned a JD from Denver University Sturm College of Law, is a founding organizer of the Political Workers Guild of Colorado, and formerly served as a legislative aide in the Colorado General Assembly.

AriDy Nox

Co-Leader and Director of Narrative Strategy

 AriDy Nox is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist with a variety of forward-thinking creative works under her/their belt. They create out of the vehement belief that creating a future in which marginalized peoples are free requires a radical imagination. Their tales are offerings intended to function as small parts of an ancient, expansive, awe-inspiring tradition of world-shaping, created by and for black femmes. They have over a decade of experience as a young social activist and organizer, within reproductive justice and racial justice frameworks with organizations like the Young Women of Color Leadership Council with Advocates for Youth, the Toni Cade Bamabara Collective at Spelman College and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. They bring creativity, enthusiasm and a tremendous capacity for organization to her/their role and deep belief that times of apocalypse are opportunities for rebirth. We need first imagine the world we want in order to create it.