Policy - Climate Justice Alliance


Building our Power by Changing the Rules

Centering Frontline Solutions

CJA’s policy work is guided by our more than 80 climate justice, frontline and supporting organizations engaged in local, state and national work on a wide range of issues from Racial Justice, Energy Democracy, Food Sovereignty, Zero Waste, the THRIVE Agenda, Just Recovery Work and more. Our 6 meta strategies guide our vision for a Just Transition to a Regenerative Economy.

When it comes to policy work, those closest to the problems have the most innovative solutions, and are the experts on the issues affecting their lives. We are changing the way governance works by building Our Power and pathways to solutions that work for frontline communities and workers, while pushing back against false solutions to climate change.

Policy Highlights

Every month CJA members engage in policy advocacy via a wide number of channels. Whether through sign-on letters, press releases, bill endorsements, or direct congressional engagement, we strive to fight the false solutions in policy and advocate for a Just Transition.

March 2022

Sign-On Letters:

Press Releases:

February 2022

Sign-On Letters:

  • Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) Letter to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior – to immediately stop approving new drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico unless and until the agency complies with NEPA and properly analyzes the climate impacts of approving new oil and gas drilling activity. 
  • Food & Water Watch – Letter to Chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee – to put safeguards in place to ensure polluters do not co-opt programs that could otherwise fund otherwise legitimate clean energy infrastructure
  • Earthjustice – Letter to Chairs of the House Natural Resources Committee – in support of the Environmental Justice for All Act, a significant step forward to confront the legacy of environmental racism and disparate impacts affecting frontline communities nationwide.
  • Build Back Fossil Free Coalition Letter to President Biden – Demanding bold executive action to keep fossil fuels in the ground, protect communities from the toxic impacts of coal, oil, and gas development, and declare a climate emergency to advance energy justice. 

Press Releases:

January 2022

Sign-On Letters:

  • Letter to the Secretary of Energy – ​​to meaningfully listen to frontline communities and ensure DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstration funding does not create harms to Indigenous, Black, Brown, AAPI and working-class communities by providing billions in public subsidies for carbon capture, hydrogen, and nuclear energy.
  • 361 Climate Groups send Letter to President Biden and Secretary Haaland – Petition to reduce the rate of oil and gas production on public lands and waters to near zero by 2035 in order to avoid disastrous climate change driven by fossil fuels.

December 2021

Bills/Resolutions Endorsed:

  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL) – H.R. 6168 Future Generations Protection Act – The bill would ban greenhouse gas emissions from all new power plants, stop hydraulic fracking, and ban crude oil and natural gas exports.
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (CA) – H.R. 6249 End Polluter Welfare for Enhanced Oil Recovery Act – The bill would repeal ‘The Tax Credit for Carbon Sequestration (Section 45Q),’ a tax giveaway that enables the fossil fuel industry to profit off capturing carbon emissions and using them to increase oil production.

Sign-On Letters:

  • United Frontline Table (UFT) – 140 organizations call on the Senate – to remove dirty energy subsidies from the build back better act that would incentivize dirty energy sources and technologies that will harm communities and prolong a fossil fuel-based economy.

Press Releases:

November 2021

Sign-On Letters:

Press Releases:

October 2021

Sign-On Letters:

  • Prior to UNFCCC COP 26: Global Call for Real Solutions, Not Net Zero – Civil society organizations, social movements, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities issue a global call to the governments of the world and leading international institutions, demanding that they put forward real plans to bring emissions and fossil fuel production down to Real Zero, through real reductions and real solutions, not far-off and empty Net Zero pledges. 
  • National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) – Letter to Biden Administration – Direct all relevant U.S. federal agencies and government officials to fundamentally reorient the U.S. government’s approach to global policy development on food and agriculture issues, breaking with the U.S. government’s historical alignment with corporate agribusiness and neoliberal, unregulated trade orthodoxy. 
  • Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) Letter to COP26 DelegatesUrge all parties to the UNFCCC to reject false solutions to climate change such as the burning of waste in waste-to-energy incinerators, phase out investments for single-use plastic production, and hold petrochemical companies accountable for plastic pollution and their enormous contribution to global heating.
  • Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) & +300 Groups Legal Petition to the Biden Administration – Demanding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stop issuing permits, and revoke illegally and inappropriately issued permits, for fossil fuel infrastructure projects.

Press Releases:

September 2021

Sign-On Letters:

  • Climate Justice Alliance, Food & Water Watch, Indigenous Environmental Network – Letter to top Senate and House Democrats – Urging them to reject last-minute efforts to include a carbon tax in the Build Back Better infrastructure proposal.

Press Releases:

August 2021

Sign-On Letters:
Press Releases:

July 2021

Bills/Resolutions Endorsed:
  • Rep. Jamal Bowman (NY) – H.R. 4442 Green New Deal for Public Schools Act – It provides $1.4 trillion total over 10 years through the Dept of Education, for public school districts to advance environmental, health, economic, and educational equity. 
Sign-On Letters:
Press Releases:

June 2021

Bills/Resolutions Endorsed:
  • Rep. Cori Bush (MO) and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY) – H.Res 457 Public Power Resolution – Sets up a framework to guarantee basic utility services for all Americans, while reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Sign-On Support:
  • Indigenous Environmental Network – June 30th Climate Action in front of the White House – to demand President Biden act now to stop dirty fossil fuel projects in all our communities, from Line 3 to the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and beyond, and call on Congress to prioritize climate justice, racial justice, Indigenous rights, housing justice and transit justice in the infrastructure discussions.

May 2021

Sign-On Letters:
  • People’s Bailout Coalition and over 200 organizations New York Times Ad – As Biden Proposes Reducing His Recovery Package, campaigns Urge Congress to Invest $10 Trillion Over Next Decade on Climate, Jobs, and Justice
  • Indigenous Environmental Network, California Environmental Justice Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Food and Water Watch, and Friends of the Earth Letter to congress to enact a federal Renewable Electricity Standard in the infrastructure package and reject gas and other false climate solutions in order to address the climate emergency.
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance – Support a Pathway to Citizenship for Essential Workers – Urges Congressional leadership to include a pathway to citizenship for essential workers in the next budget reconciliation package, along with citizenship for DACA, TPS, and DED recipients.

April 2021

Bills/Resolutions Endorsed:
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (MA) – GND Resolution (AOC/Markey) – ReIntroduction of the Green New Deal Resolution first introduced 2 years ago with more EJ concerns addressed including removal of net zero language.
  • Sen. Ed Markey (MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) – S.1244/H.R.2670 Civilian Climate Corps – the corps work will reduce carbon emissions, enable a transition to renewable energy, build healthier and more resilient communities, implement conservation projects with proven climate benefits, and help communities recover from climate disasters.
  • Rep. Cori Bush (MO) – H.R.2644 Green New Deal for Cities –   legislation that would federally fund city, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to respond to the climate crisis, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process. 
  • Rep. Yvette Clark (NY)H.R.2394 Climate Justice Working Group Act – establishes a Climate Justice Working Group—comprised of representatives from federal agencies, community organizations, cities, states, and indigenous nations—with the mission of helping to guide the country’s just and equitable transition towards a clean, climate-resilient, zero-emission economy.
Sign-On Letters
  • Friends of the Earth- Oppose the Growing Climate Solutions ActThis legislation aims to build a framework for broad-scale development of carbon markets and to pave the way for a national cap-and-trade program.
  • Indigenous Environmental Network, California Environmental Justice Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Food and Water Watch, and Friends of the Earth – Letter to congress to enact a federal Renewable Electricity Standard in the infrastructure package and reject gas and other false climate solutions in order to address the climate emergency.
Press Releases

March 2021

Bills/Resolutions Endorsed:
  • THRIVE Act – a transformational economic recovery package that puts over 15 million people to work in family-sustaining, union jobs across the economy — from clean energy to care work to manufacturing — to cut climate pollution in half by2030 and advance gender, environmental, Indigenous, economic, and racial justice, with particular attention to Black and Indigenous people.
  • Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY)H.Res.180 Care Economy Resolution – The resolution calls for far-reaching public investments to build that missing, holistic infrastructure, to guarantee the care people need at all stages of life, and to treat caregivers and care workers with the dignity they deserve.
Sign-On Letters:
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance + Service Employees International Union – Letter to President Biden in support of the Care Economy and plan to create over one million high quality jobs by investing $450 billion in Medicaid home and community based services (HCBS).
Press Releases

January 2021

  • Rep. Cori Bush (MO) and Sen. Ed Markey (MA) – H.R. 516/S.101 Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act – An interagency environmental justice mapping committee, led by the Environmental Protection Agency, will be formed to identify criteria, find data gaps, create a data repository, and work with communities to create an interactive mapping tool based on cumulative impacts to locate environmental justice communities.

February 2021

  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) –  H.R.794/ S.938 Climate Emergency Act – directs the president of the United States to declare a national climate emergency and mobilize every resource at the country’s disposal to halt, reverse, mitigate, and prepare for the consequences of this climate crisis.

Fact Sheets, Model Policies & Other Resources

Use these tools to educate yourself and your community, and to advance your local, state, federal and tribal efforts toward a Regenerative Economy.

Principles for a Just Transition in Offshore Wind EnergyHow to Center Frontline Solutions
and Co-Governance for
Energy Affordability and Resiliency.

80 policy ideas, grouped into 14 planks

Key model policies to move power and resources to frontline communities.

Check out the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) Newsroom for media releases about the latest developments on climate justice related policies.

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