Environment

In June, President Trump announced the beginning of a multi-year process to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. The administration also halted federal government efforts to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and ended funding for the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Earlier in the year, Trump signed an executive order calling for completion of the Dakota Access (DAPL) and Keystone XL (KXL) pipelines. Construction on DAPL was completed in April while KXL is still pending. Eight border wall prototypes were completed in October but, as of this writing, funding for additional barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border is still pending.

A new small group resource, Environmental justice with indigenous peoples, was developed in partnership with Creation Justice Ministries. Staff supported the Native Nations March and the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., and authored a detailed analysis of the GCF and its potential for assisting vulnerable populations in the summer issue of Intersections.

While opportunities for advocacy on climate change at the federal level may be limited, many efforts to reduce carbon emissions continue at the state and local levels–and by churches and individuals. At the federal level, individuals can encourage their representatives to join the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group in the House looking at policy options to address climate change. Staff look forward to increasing work with the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and will continue to call for greater transparency and civil-society participation in the GCF.

Advocacy will continue to be needed to push back against proposals for additional border walls which adversely affect the environment (planned segments in Texas would cut through a wildlife refuge and butterfly center) as well as migrants and border communities. —Tammy Alexander