Environmental Justice Solutions is proud to be part of the Equity Facilitator team for the City of Oakland’s 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan.
We developed a comprehensive Racial Equity Impact Assessment & Implementation Guide (REIA) to help the City of Oakland center equity throughout the ECAP’s 10-year implementation period.
Take a look at this four-minute video to learn more about the REIA!
(Full transcript below.)
The ECAP goes before City Council on Tuesday July 28th.
Hi there! My name is Marybelle N. Tobias. I’m the founder and principal of Environmental Justice Solutions, a Bay Area EJ consulting firm.It’s my pleasure to speak to you today about the work I’ve done, alongside David Jaber of Blue Star Integrative Studio and Colin Miller of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition, as the Equity Facilitator team for City of Oakland’s Equitable Climate Action Plan.
- Extreme heat, sea level rise, intense wildfires — climate change impacts us all, but frontline communities who live nearest to climate threats and have the least resources to adapt, resist or recover from the impacts, are harmed first and worst.
- The Equity Facilitator team compiled data on Oakland’s frontline communities, highlighting the racial or ethnic groups and geographic locations that face multiple threats, including shorefront areas in east and west Oakland threatened by sea-level rise and poor air quality.
- Our Racial Equity Impact Assessment & Implementation Guide (REIA) includes detailed recommendations and resources to help the City of Oakland meet priority community needs and maximize equitable outcomes throughout the ECAP’s 10-year implementation period.
Climate solutions have the potential to benefit everyone AND improve key determinants of frontline communities’ physical, social, and economic well-being. But, despite this immense potential, equitable distribution doesn’t just happen by default. Achieving climate equity means carefully distributing the local benefits of climate action in ways that reduce existing disparities, give historically underserved groups their fair share, and make Oakland a healthy and resilient city.
This FLOWER diagram, developed by Climate Interactive, is a Framework for Long-term, Whole-system, Equity-based Reflection, where each petal represents a category of local benefits that climate action has the potential to generate. Like the REIA, this tool helps users carefully select climate policies and programs that address equity gaps and improve physical, social and economic well-being in frontline communities.
The benefits of climate action include, increasing tree cover, access to open space, community-owned solar, affordable and accessible public transit, active mobility, disaster-preparedness, public health, and employment in good green jobs. When these benefits are targeted to reach Oakland’s most vulnerable areas and populations, all Oaklanders share the benefits. When careful targeting doesn’t happen, we miss a valuable opportunity to use the climate crisis as a stepping stone to a Just Transition.
- Key things the REIA asks the City of Oakland to do include
- Establish the Oakland Climate Action Network right away and delegate implementation and oversight power to OCAN members.
- Develop accessible maps that identify frontline communities for each ECAP Action
- Use equity Key Performance Indicators to both directly and indirectly track the City’s progress toward equitable outcomes and course correct as needed to ensure frontline communities receive their fair share of ECAP benefits.
Thanks for listening!