Below is a draft of a draft program on climate change for the RC Communities, posted for review and comment by Co-Counselors. We adopted our Draft Policy on Care of the Environment in 2017 and it can be found here. The following are wide world policies and actions that RCers can take as part of the action steps found at the end of the draft policy. The article "Why We Prioritize Addressing Climate Change" contains background information on these proposals and "Thoughts on the Draft Policy on Care of the Environment" contains additional thinking about the draft policy.

Draft Program on Climate Change for the RC Community[1]

OVERALL DRAFT PROGRAM: Implement policies that have a chance to stabilize global temperature rise at no more than 1.2°C as quickly as possible.

         Rationale: Current science shows that 1.5°C is still too hot, with unnecessary losses of species, habitat, social structures, and human lives. We can do better.

 

 

SPECIFIC ACTION STEPS

Our goal is for the Co-Counselors in each country to meet together (including the voices of the diversity of people living in that country). Starting with this overview of possible action steps, discuss and decide which actions are most appropriate for your country and situation. 

Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by:

  1. Urging a very rapid and large reduction of fossil fuel for energy production, including no new exploration and no more subsidies.
  1. Supporting massive development of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and micro-hydro, as well as storage and delivery systems, and converting to all-electric power usage where possible.
  1. Supporting electric vehicles, affordable public transportation powered by renewables (including electric rail), and net-zero[2] commercial shipping and air travel.
  1. Promoting food consumption practices that include educating and encouraging people toward a largely plant-based diet (acknowledging that there are climates which do not sustain enough plant food year round and tribal peoples who rely on meat to survive) and eliminating food waste.
  1. Conserving energy at all levels of use.
  1. Reducing consumption, primarily in the Global North[3], through lifestyle change and zero-waste strategies. 
  1. Promoting the design and construction of new buildings and rehabilitation of existing buildings to be energy efficient (net-zero) and environmentally friendly, primarily in the Global North, with priority to low income communities.
  1. Refocusing national and local economies on a fossil-free future and budgeting the necessary resources to meet these goals.
  1. Reducing population growth so that no more people live on the land in any place than can be sustained by the land. Primary mechanisms would include ending sexism and improving education of girls.
  1. Unless deemed unsafe, decommissioning nuclear reactors only when they can be replaced by renewable power sources (i.e., not fossil fuel sourced power). Investing in upgrades to keep existing and ‘safe’ nuclear reactors functioning until such time as they can be replaced by renewables. Researching new nuclear generation technologies (safe, efficient, melt-down proof).

 

 

Drawdown (pull from the atmosphere) GHG by:

  1. Safeguarding and expanding “carbon sinks” by ecosystem preservation and restoration (including oceans, forests, peatlands, soil, mangroves), with full participation of the people of that place.
  1. Promoting agriculture-based practices (carbon farming, agroforestry, silvopasture[4], agroecological[5] intensification) that reduce agriculture related GHG emissions, maximize sustainable agriculture, regenerate degraded land, and sequester carbon in the soil and aboveground biomass.
  1. Developing new safe, affordable, and effective technologies to drawdown CO2 from the atmosphere and store it.

 

 

Addressing the needs of Frontline Communities and Nations and other vulnerable populations[6]

  1. Ensuring that addressing climate change not be at the expense of workers in the impacted industries. For example, support training and resources for workers in petroleum (extraction and processing) and other industries (such as fossil fuel powered automobiles, chemical fertilizer, goods based on excessive consumption) that need to be phased out to achieve the emissions reduction goal.
  1. Supporting the voices and leadership of native people, people of the global majority, poor, working class, and young people in making a “just transition”[7] to a sustainable clean energy economy.
  1. Advocating that the nations of the Global North[8] provide the necessary financial assistance to those of the Global South[9] (used to support their initiatives) so they may adapt to climate change, mitigate its effects on their populations, stay on their own land, and rapidly gain access to clean energy[10].
  1. Advocating that vulnerable populations (including people with disabilities, women, children, older persons, and people in institutions) receive the resources necessary to survive and adapt to climate change. Supporting efforts to build climate resilient communities that include these populations.
  1. Within the nations of the Global North, working to end the impact of racism, classism, and other oppressions on the distribution of resources needed for Indigenous communities, communities of people of the global majority, poor and working class communities, and women (who are the most impacted currently), and other vulnerable populations to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects on their populations.
  1. Promoting that all nations act as a global community and welcome migrants, refugees, and climate displaced people seeking the right to a safe and dignified life.
  1. Advocating for the food sovereignty[11] of impacted communities (Global South, indigenous, people of the global majority, poor and working class, and women), including supporting their ability to allocate resources to meet their own food needs.

 

 

Strengthening of the efforts of the United Nations on climate change by:

  1. Advocating that the 1.5°C goal be reduced to 1.2°C.
  1. Advocating that all national governments (a) immediately strengthen and meet their nationally determined commitments (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement as necessary to stabilize global warming at no more than 1.2° C (acknowledging that we are almost certain to exceed 1.2°C in the near future) and (b) implement strategies to drawdown greenhouse gasses (GHG) so as to reduce warming to this level or below [as indicated by the then-current science] by 2100.
  1. Advocating that the United States remain in the Paris Agreement, and follow #2 above.
  1. Advocating that all state, provincial, and local governments enact and enforce policies that are in accordance with the above, regardless of steps taken at the national level.

 

 

Building an international movement to accomplish these goals by:

  1. Communicating to people everywhere about the causes and results of climate change in a way that will move them to take individual and collective actions in support of the following goals. See action steps in Draft Policy on Care of the Environment.
  1. Build an international movement committed to addressing climate change as part of transforming society to one that ends the exploitation of humans and the Earth and all forms of oppression.
  1. Replace our current profit- and growth-based economies with economies that meet the real needs of humans and other life forms and that protect and restore our global environment.
  1. Join organizations focused on climate change and work with these organizations to: (a) assist people to understand and address the connections between climate change, racism, genocide, and other oppressions, and the economic system that both drives and benefits from them; (b) educate people about and implement elements of the above program as part of the work of the organization; and (c) support the work of the organization by building relationships, supporting good leadership, helping with its work, and introducing the tools and practices of RC.
  1. Join organizations focused on social justice and ending oppression and work with them to (a) understand and address the connections between their issues and climate change, (b) educate people about and implement elements of the above program as part of the work of the organization; and (c) support the work of the organization by building relationships, supporting good leadership, helping with its work, and introducing the tools and practices of RC.
  1. Encourage these groups to partner with one another to end climate change, environmental degradation, capitalism, oppression, and poverty.
  1. Advocate for good policy and action wherever you are, through whatever means you have. Where possible, advocate for transformative change (ending class society) rather than reform. When working for reforms, use the opportunity to create the conditions for people to understand the need for transformative change and move toward it. Include nonviolent strategies of protest and civil disobedience in support of this program.
  1. This will be detailed much more fully in the upcoming Wide World Change draft policy and program.

July 11, 2018

Send comments to Diane Shisk <dshisk@earthlink.net>


[1] This program will not repeat that which is included in the Wide World Change draft policy and program [being written concurrently] or in other draft liberation policy statements. Instead, it will focus only on actions specific to climate change. In the future we will adapt this for wide world use. Note that there is also a need for a Draft Program on the Environment, much broader in scope than this topic.

[2] Net zero-energy efficient activity is one that has greatly reduced energy needs through efficiency gains so that the balance of energy needed for the activity (building, vehicle, etc.) is met by renewable energy.

[3] The global North is defined here as those nations (and their enterprises) that have enriched themselves at least in part through colonialism, imperialism, genocide, and slavery. They have used those resources to support rapid industrialization of their own nations. The majority of the buildup of GHG emissions in the atmosphere is a result, and these nations continue to add to the carbon pollution.

[4] Pasture land with a high density of trees and shrubs providing fodder, over shade-tolerant pasture, with managed grazing.

[5] Agricultural practices that don’t sacrifice people or ecosystems, for example integrating multiple crops in the same area.

[6] Those nations and communities experiencing the most severe impacts from climate change, including the Global South and Indigenous people, people of the global majority, poor and working class people everywhere.

[7] Just transition principles have been worked out by groups of indigenous people, people of the global majority, workers, and poor people to ensure that their voices are heard, their rights protected, and their leadership followed in a transition to a sustainable economy. These principles evolve and can be found in publications about climate justice.

[8] The global North is defined here as those nations (and their enterprises) that have enriched themselves at least in part through colonialism, imperialism, genocide, and slavery. They have used those resources to support rapid industrialization of their own nations. The majority of the buildup of GHG emissions in the atmosphere is a result, and these nations continue to add to the carbon pollution.

[9] The global South is defined here as those nations who have been the subjects of colonialism, imperialism, genocide, and enslavement. Because there has not been widespread industrialization in these countries, they have contributed little to global warming resulting from GHG emissions. Their lack of access to resources, in large part resulting from their exploitation by the Global North, interferes with their ability to adapt to climate change and mitigate its impact on their population.

[10] It is in everyone’s interest that the Global South not pursue a fossil fuel based economy and be assisted to instead build their economies based on renewable energy sources.

[11] Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.

 


Last modified: 2018-07-12 11:17:53-07