Many of us may be surprised to realize that against the backdrop of real and serious bad news on climate change there is important and inspiring good news.  While each day brings more dire and urgent warnings from climate scientists and international climate talks fail to produce the action needed by national governments, we also see signs of hope.  Across the country communities are bringing to life a new and accurate definition of climate resilience. These grassroots efforts are shaping how climate adaptation is understood and helping everyone to see that real climate solutions must include adaptation, mitigation and social cohesion:

  • Local and state governments in the US are creating their own partnerships and agreements to implement solutions for reducing green house gas emissions and developing life-saving climate adaptation plans.
  • In New York, the largest climate march in history lifted up the solutions frontline communities are generating and inspired millions around the world to work for real climate solutions.
  • Local communities are working to advance climate resilience solutions through innovations in transportation, housing, urban agriculture and energy production.
  • Communities are successfully standing up to the fossil fuel industries that are standing in the way of that innovation.  In Richmond, California, for example, community activists won a stunning victory against a big oil company-backed slate of candidates.
  • In New York, activists brought efforts to expand fracking to a grinding halt.
  • In California there are plans afoot to add climate adaptation to the state’s historic greenhouse gas reduction legislation that is making climate mitigation efforts possible in communities all across the state. Local groups are deeply engaged in the implementation of these efforts, building the social cooperation and cohesion necessary for a comprehensive approach to resilience.
  • Key philanthropic players are stepping forward to embrace climate resilience, including the Kresge Foundation and other leaders in philanthropy who are shifting resources to support social equity in communities, local government and business as fundamental for addressing the impacts of climate change. Others include Rockefeller’s Resilient Cities initiative which is strengthening the capacity of local governments to advance resilience efforts, as well as the Chorus Foundation’s new Just Transition initiative which is making deep long term investments in community-driven efforts to advance a real vision for resilience.

Through the P2R Dialogues we hope to accelerate the process of transforming cities and helping people to leverage our interconnections into practical solutions that allow us to face the reality of climate change and respond with unprecedented partnership, vision, and innovation.

Taj James
Executive Director
Movement Strategy Center