Climate Equity and Community Engagement at HARC
Climate equity ensures the just distribution of the benefits of climate protection efforts and alleviates unequal burdens created by climate change. It works to balance access to key resources, while protecting underserved communities and populations from environmental hazards, regardless of race, income, or other characteristics.
While the benefits of energy are vast, its production has caused serious problems for underserved and fenceline communities. Scientists have concluded that greenhouse gases are the primary contributor of climate change. The absence of public and private investments in underserved communities, coupled with high-emitting facilities in fenceline communities has created a climate equity challenge.
Low- and zero-emitting sources of energy that are expected to result from the current energy transition, along with deliberate and strategic community investments, will help to effectively address these challenges.
HARC is committed to collaborating with businesses and government, and engaging in dialogue and collaboration with community leaders and members to help them participate in government decision-making, and gain access to government funding to develop and implement effective solutions to address climate equity, with a focus in the energy and water sectors. Our Climate Equity and Community Engagement program informs and supports co-development and implementation of climate equity and resilience initiatives in underserved communities.
Climate equity solutions can be complex. These solutions must stem from strong relationships with local communities and be developed with those communities, not simply for them. Getting to those solutions requires ongoing research and policy analysis to ensure that the final result is credible, cost-effective, and addresses community needs.
Bridging the gap between climate action and equity requires the kind of objective research and analysis HARC has been conducting on climate issues for decades. All our work is based on science, sustainability, and solutions. We are committed to finding solutions that address the challenges communities want addressed, that are feasible and fair, and that can be used in communities in Texas and beyond.
Our goals include:
As billions of dollars are being invested into new clean energy hubs to decarbonize the industrial sector, we must also build up the connective social infrastructure and support systems to ensure that the benefits of those investments flow to the disadvantaged communities most affected by climate change.
The Community Benefits Hub framework aims to:
For more information on our Climate Equity and Community Engagement program, please contact:
Senior Advisor, Climate Equity
Erin Kinney, PhD
Program Manager, Climate Equity and Community Engagement