Climate Change

Draft Program

for the RC Communities

short version*

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The following is a shortened version of a Climate Emergency Draft Program for the RC Communities, updated May 2023. (You can see the full version at It has not been consistently updated.)

This Climate Emergency Draft Program is rooted in the vision we share in RC of a world free from oppression. It’s a world in which people work cooperatively, in a respectful and harmonious relationship with the Earth and all her inhabitants, to ensure a livable future in which all life and communities flourish and everybody’s real needs are met.

A vast accumulation of data clearly indicates that to avoid catastrophic consequences, we must act quickly to stop global temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C by 2030. A temperature rise greater than that would damage and destabilize the world’s natural ecosystems and have devastating effects on the environment, agriculture, all humans, and all of life. To prevent it we must swiftly and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase carbon capture and storage. This is possible if the majority of the world’s people decide to care, cooperate, unite, and take action.

Our economic systems, with their drive for profit regardless of the damage done, have shown themselves to be incompatible with ecologically sustainable societies. To protect our environment and the species that depend upon it, we must fundamentally change these systems and end the oppression and exploitation they are built on.

We will need a coordinated global effort to reduce emissions while ending inequities rooted in oppression and creating a rational economy—one that allows everyone to have a good life while living interdependently on the Earth. This will require that people join inclusive mass movements whose leadership includes frontline populations* and youth.

The populations most vulnerable to climate extremes are the ones that have been targeted with genocide, colonization, oppression, exploitation, and war. Therefore, solutions to the climate emergency must center the thinking, perspectives, and leadership of these frontline people.

What we do in the next few years will have big effects on all future generations and all species. We can play a significant role.


As Co-Counselors, we can do the following:

  • We can build RC Communities in which we identify and discharge the distresses that keep us from facing the present situation, working with everyone, and implementing solutions that always address the connections between the climate crisis, oppression, exploitation, and genocide.
  • We can listen to and communicate with people everywhere about the climate crisis—the causes (including distress recordings), results, markedly larger impact on frontline communities, and solutions. We can do this in a way that will move people to take individual and collective actions.
  • We can thoughtfully and widely apply and share RC tools, theory, and insights. We can assist people to recover and deepen their ability to listen, care, cooperate, act powerfully, tackle internalized oppression, and end the targeting and blaming in mass movements.
  • We can discharge any worries and fears that could interfere with our thinking and acting rationally with integrity and courage in the widespread social upheavals that are likely as the climate crisis progresses.
  • We can hold out hope in terms of what is possible and help people discharge feelings of despair about the climate emergency and its effects on human existence and all life.
  • We can develop a strong personal foundation for sustainably engaging in the transformation of society. This can include studying past and current mass movements—to help us sharpen our ability to think freshly in rapidly changing conditions.
  • We can support organizations and movements that are for human liberation and that implement a diversity of strategies and tactics to end oppression and/or the climate emergency.
  • We can build teams of people, inside and outside of RC, who can think together with us and about us.


Our program can include the below:

  • Supporting the sovereignty and leadership of Indigenous nations and Native and tribal peoples
  • Supporting the leadership of frontline populations and youth
  • Organizing locally, regionally, and nationally
  • Building a global movement to end the climate emergency, to rid society of exploitation and oppression, and to create an equitable future for all humans that sustains all life and the planet
  • Ensuring that the globally dominant and more industrialized countries provide the resources needed for global solutions to the climate crisis, including technological and financial assistance for local initiatives
  • Developing programs for people to transition, collectively and rapidly, off fossil fuels and reduce GHG emissions, including their personal emissions—especially in the globally dominant and more industrialized countries where individual GHG emissions have been the highest


We can organize for these policy changes:


  • Rapidly and drastically phasing out the extraction (including fracking) and use of fossil fuel and eliminating the financing and subsidies that encourage its use
  • Electrifying everything and making renewable, cleanly sourced electricity available to everyone
  • Reducing energy consumption to the level of rational need and making all energy use more efficient
  • Supporting a planned and coordinated transition to publicly owned, renewable, clean energy and sharing the necessary technical expertise globally
  • Decommissioning nuclear reactors only (apart from safety concerns) when they can be replaced with renewable energy, not fossil fuels

Resilient, sustainable communities

  • Protecting the Earth’s water and using it for sustaining all life
  • Making communities climate resilient—by providing everyone, especially frontline and vulnerable populations (people with disabilities, children, older people, homeless and displaced people, and people in institutions), the resources (including affordable housing, health care, education, job training, jobs with good pay and benefits, food, and clean water) they need to adapt to and reduce the impacts of climate change
  • Providing support to communities impacted by climate crises so the people can stay in their homelands and not become climate refugees (and where that’s no longer possible, advocating for open borders in the Global North and assisting and welcoming people to settle there)
  • Encouraging and supporting lifestyle changes and zero-waste strategies that reduce consumption—primarily in the wealthy countries where consumption is the highest and most wasteful
  • Moving to zero- or negative-growth economies in the globally dominant and more industrialized nations
  • Creating the conditions for women and girls to have their basic needs met and maintain their health—including by having control over their own bodies and the capacity to reproduce through voluntary family planning, human rights for women and girls, and education and opportunity for girls and young women
  • Ending war, supporting universal demilitarization, and using military budgets to fund the transition to a sustainable, renewable, clean energy future

The economy

  • Exposing and challenging the myth that endless economic growth is sustainable and in the interest of all humans
  • Bringing the financial system and financing decisions into the public sphere, to advance the common good
  • Supporting policies and efforts to reverse the concentration of power and wealth
  • Encouraging initiatives that democratize wealth and address the well-being of people and the planet
  • Adopting ethical and rational means to extract the “minerals” and other resources needed for the transition to a renewable energy economy, without reproducing the historically unjust dynamics of global resource exploitation

Agriculture, other land use, and food

  • Adopting climate-friendly techniques for farming, such as growing different types of crops together that don’t hurt people or sacrifice ecosystems and storing carbon in soil and perennial plants, like trees)
  • Adopting healthy, sustainable livestock practices
  • In the wealthy countries, reducing the consumption of meat
  • Reducing and composting food waste
  • Putting strong limits on biofuels
  • Protecting and restoring natural carbon sinks, such as oceans, forests, peatlands, and wetlands, with the engagement and leadership of the local people

Transportation, buildings, and other sectors

  • Providing access to widespread, affordable public transportation that is powered by renewable clean energy
  • Developing alternatives to fossil fuels for commercial shipping and aviation
  • Reorganizing our societies so that people live, work, and produce more in their local communities and thus rely less on travel and shipping
  • Rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerants, manufacture of cement, intentional burning of forests, and other high-emission practices
  • Modifying existing buildings to be energy efficient and using energy from renewable sources. Requiring new buildings to be near or net-zero energy
  • Working for zero waste industrial, construction, and production practices

* Frontline populations are the people most heavily impacted by our extractive economy and by racism, genocide, and industrial pollution, including from the fossil fuel industries.

They have a long history of being targeted by oppression and experiencing the “first and worst” consequences of the climate crisis and other environmental destruction.

They include Native and Indigenous people, Global Majority people, poor and working-class people, women, and people living in the globally less dominant and least industrialized nations.

When organized and supported with resources, they can move decisively to build their power toward transforming society, creating sustainable ecosystems, and winning liberation.

*See full version

Last modified: 2023-08-17 04:43:31+00