Climate Justice Alliance Convening: Detroit, September 2012

Click here to visit the Our Power campaign website

Climate Justice Alliance Says: We need a Just Transition out of the Climate Crisis!
See below for a report on the convening, and a video by Black Mesa Water Coalition

Photos by Kari Fulton:


Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) and Movement Generation have been co-convening the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), an initiative of over 30 organizations that emerged out of the US Social Forum in Detroit in 2010. While most organizations are local environmental justice groups, CJA also includes national and international networks like the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Jobs with Justice, as well as several partners, including Movement Strategy Center, Institute for Policy Studies, Ruckus Society, GJEP and Smartmeme.

Since January 2012, the CJA has been developing the Our Power Campaign: Communities United for a Just Transition.  Our work aims to elevate community based, grassroots solutions to the climate crisis.  A national CJA convening of 33 organizations took place September 24-27 in Detroit hosted by East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) to further develop the implementation plans for the campaign. Attendees included 13 GGJ member organizations (see below for list), alongside allies like NAACP, Labor Network for Sustainability, Cornell Global Labor Institute, the Center for Social Inclusion and

GGJ member organizations that attended the convening: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Mesa Water Coalition (BMWC), Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Community to Community Development, East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Jobs with Justice, Labor/Community Strategy Center, PODER, POWER, SouthWest Organizing Project, Southwest Workers Union, Vermont Worker Center.

What is a Just Transition?

We must immediately begin to transition out of the Extreme Energy economy – an economy dependent on fossil fuels, incineration, agrofuels, nuclear energy and other risky industries causing ecological disruption, public health crises and economic impoverishment due to their industrialized extraction, production, pollution and waste practices.  But to do this we must create new jobs and a safety net for workers who will transition out of those specific industries as well as the broader communities impacted by extreme energy.  The Just Transition Campaign addresses both the need to shut down Extreme Energy as well as put in place new systems for truly sustainable work and livelihoods in frontline communities.  These new sources of livelihood include recycling plants, local food production, ecological remediation, community owned energy systems, and more.  We envision that these new systems will serve as the seeds for a new economy based on local self-determination, resilience, and harmony with the Earth.

The Just Transition Campaign begins to build momentum in 2013 through three pilot communities that will build replicable place-based models of just transitions, and a series of Our Power convenings that will bring together groups to jointly strategize around resisting extreme energy and implementing new sources of jobs and livelihoods in their localities.  The three pilot communities are Black Mesa (BMWC) Detroit, MI (EMEAC), and Richmond, CA (APEN and CBE).

Click here to watch Black Mesa Water Coalition’s video to learn more about what a just transition could look like