20 Things We Can Do to Advance a Just and Sustainable Planet

April 22, 2015

On this Earth Day as the world is faced with great peril and promise, we all have a role in resisting and addressing challenges and optimizing on the many opportunities.  In the context of reversal of voting rights and stolen democracies, profit driven development and reckless extraction and processing of fossil fuels, coupled with rampant consumerism, we are seeing more and more toxic communities, increased heat waves, wild fires, super storms and drought driven shifts in agricultural yields. This year Pope Francis is releasing an encyclical calling for action on climate change.  In November, there is a meeting of the United Nations and civil society groups from all over the world convening in Paris for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties.    People all over are building resistance to and repelling the progression of climate change and environmental injustice through advancing local economies on principles of cooperation and access through local food, transportation collectives, community owned solar, zero waste systems, green schools and more.

Below are some actions we can take, big and small, to be a part of this growing movement to educate and engage our communities, reclaim our voice and influence in decision making stations, grow local economies, and ensure that all have access to basic needs and upholding of all civil and human rights.

Get the Word Out–Community Education/Dialogues

Host a film screening

Host a Church Discussion

Host Town Hall Meeting

Write a Letter to the Editor

Build Community Cohesion/Engagement

Healing Hikes/Healing Tables/Healing Circles

Cross Movement Organizing

  • Cultivate frontline community led, cross-movement organizing

Conduct a Community Clean Up

Initiate a Community Emergency Response Team

Facilitate Inclusive Policy Making

Get Out the Vote

Run for Office (and bring and environmental and climate justice lens)

Advance a Clean Air Ordinances/Resolutions

Testify at the Public Utilities Commission/Public Service Commission on Energy Issues

  • NAACP Guide to Engaging with PUCs/PSCs

Integrate equity into your local Climate Action Plan and Emergency Management Planning

  • NAACP Guide to Integrating Equity Indicators into Climate Adaptation Planning

Building Local, Cooperative, Sustainable Economies

Host green jobs career fairs and/or send out job opportunities

Start a Green School

Launch a Community Owned Solar Co-Op

Facilitate a Local Food Gardens Project

Start an EcoDistrict/EcoVillage

For information on how we at the NAACP are connecting issues of Environmental and Climate Justice and the 6 Civil Rights Game Changer Issue Areas, please download “INTERSECTIONS: Environmental and Climate Justice and the NAACP Game Changers”.

Geopolitics of Climate Change—A Civil Rights Perspective

NAACP Statement Regarding Flint, Michigan Water Crisis

Here’s what frontline communities are pushing for at the Paris climate talks

Environmental Justice in Houston: A Human Rights Tribunal

Putting Together a Human Rights Tribunal: Organizing Efforts in San Jose

Get to Know Our Youth Delegates to the Paris Climate Talks: Joshua Turnquest

Get to Know Our Youth Delegates to the Paris Climate Talks: Jylise Smith

Get to Know Our Youth Delegates to the Paris Climate Talks: Helen Kassa

NAACP to host Twitter Town Hall on the Intersections of Race and Climate in the Run-up to COP 21

Mandatory Fees: Utilities Fight the Future at the Expense of Our Civil Rights