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Climate Justice

Working for Racial and Economic Justice on a Livable Planet.

Our Vision

We stand for People and the Planet rather than unchecked profit that damages human communities and our earth. We lead our part of the Great Turning away from fossil fuel, pollution, and carbon as we build a solidarity economy that works for all. We fight against environmental racism and dirty energy and for healthy green jobs and renewable, affordable energy. Black, Brown, White, rich, poor, or in-between, all of us need clean air, water, energy and a stable earth. That’s why we’re building a powerful movement to ensure climate justice.

Our Analysis

We are heartbroken, we are outraged: we’re not going to stand for politicians and bosses making money for themselves while burdening all the rest of us with an overheating planet, environmental collapse and extreme weather such as floods, hurricanes, storms, and earthquakes that hurt the least advantaged among us the most.

We face the disastrous juncture of extreme inequality and climate crisis.

We are also blessed to be in a moment of dramatic potential for transformation.

For more information on the People’s Energy Plan for PECO, click here.

Our Strategy

POWER lifts up the moral message that solutions have to work for everyone, for the common good, not just for a privileged few, with faith as our unifying language.

POWER unites people across lines of difference refusing to be divided by race, class or geography.

POWER builds power in the streets and in the voting booth through relational organizing — “each one reach one.”

The Problem

Fossil fuel extraction and burning run rampant. A few are making money while we all struggle with a scarily changing environment. Hardest hit are Pennsylvania’s low income, immigrant and communities of color which are overrun with toxic fossil fuel such as oil refineries, plastics plants, ash heaps. The cumulative impact of toxic health hazards, added to poverty, racism, and unemployment further disadvantages people already targeted by multiple burdens. These burdens, one added to the next, literally cause different life expectancies based on race and wealth: in privileged zip codes people live twenty years longer than the average in the most impacted places. These are the effects of environmental racism mixed with an unchecked profit-driven economy. We’ve had enough. We won’t take it anymore.

The Opportunity

Because the moment is so urgent, POWER sees a great gateway of opportunity for a just transition to a green, renewable, and inclusive energy economy in Philadelphia, the region, and the state. We understand there are many moving parts and puzzle pieces to equitable energy transformation to give us the health and safety our people and our planet need. We call on all energy leaders, wherever you are, whoever you are, to do your part to lead boldly now. Large utilities such as PECO, PGW and also their regulator, the PUC, have a crucial role to play. There are no individual solutions to extreme inequality and climate emergency such as individually choosing green energy providers. We need systemic change that works for ALL. POWER’s Climate Justice team runs strategic campaigns in Philadelphia and across the state to further a green economy, always centering racial and economic justice. POWER works closely with allies from Faith, Labor, Environment and Justice sectors who align with our Moral Framework, to build strength together.

Upcoming Events

Do you care about air, water, health, home, affordable energy, and thriving community for you and your loved ones?

You have a climate justice story and we want to hear from you! Contact us.

I WORK FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE BECAUSE…

“I work for climate justice because our environment is a shared resource that knows no boundaries and connects us all together.”

Nora Elmarzouky
Recent Climate Justice and Jobs Organizer

“I work for climate justice to protect humanity and Mother Earth because that’s what gives life. To sustain life on earth we must have climate justice!

– Russell Hicks
Climate Justice and Jobs Team Member

“I work for climate justice to be part of the moral voice of the earth sustaining a web of connection that includes all people and all places.”

– Julie Greenberg
Climate Justice and Jobs, Director


“I work for Climate Justice because at first I knew about it but didn’t think I could do anything about it being just one person. Then I heard about POWER.”

– Jamir Hubbard
Climate Justice and Jobs Fellow

“I work for climate justice because I want my grandchildren to grow up in a world where everyone can drink clean water and breathe clean air.”

– Wendy Greenspan
Climate Justice Team Member

“I work for climate justice because I want to see good jobs in renewable energy for my community.”

– Anthony Clarke
Climate Justice Team Member

“I work for climate justice because I am tired of watching my people being hurt by climate crisis and and watching the people talking and getting the positive impact of green solutions not looking like me.”

– Terri Burgin
Recent Climate Justice and Jobs Fellow

– Founding Mothers of POWER’s Climate Justice and Jobs Team, 2016

Our Campaigns

Philadelphia and Region

  • People’s Energy Plan: insists that the enormously powerful Public Utility Commission (PUC) regulate utilities to protect our communities. The five commissioners must stand for people and the planet, and move speedily away from dirty energy.
  • PGW Just Transition –  POWER and allies are organizing to transform Philadelphia Gas Works into a utility that provides heating and cooling without the use of fossil fuels, at rates that everyone can afford, in ways that improve health and safety, and with policies that protect and create good union jobs.
  • Environmental Justice: POWER has lodged a complaint with the EPA that alleges a civil rights violation by a division of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health called Air Management Services (AMS).   Read more here

Pennsylvania

Whole Home Repairs 
In 2022 POWER and partners organized intensely across the state and WON $125 million in the state budget for Whole Home Repairs, allowing low and moderate income renters and owners to benefit from public funding for home repair, weatherization, housing safety and energy efficiency. In 2023 we went back to Harrisburg to double this funding for safe affordable homes. For more information, click here.

Environmental Racism:RGGI
POWER and partners across the state work hard to have our state join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI.) RGGI will charge a fee for many corporate carbon polluters and cap the amount of carbon emissions allowed. Income from RGGI will support green jobs and better health. For more information, click here.

POWER also supports our sister climate justice projects:

Read more here: Opening Eyes to PJM

Join the Team to find Climate Justice opportunities for you and your community!

– PA Climate Equity Table

I WORK FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE BECAUSE…

“I work for climate justice because I believe in the intrinsic dignity and value of everyone.  The most important contribution I can make to family, friends, and community is to promote the right of everyone to health and wellbeing, justice, and clean air.”

Steve Greenspan
Climate Justice Team Member

“I myself am a climate refugee from Florida hurricanes. I work for climate justice because climate injustice is intolerable.”

– Carolyn Klepser
Climate Justice Team Member

“I work for climate justice because, like in my union, we only truly get justice when we stand together.”

– Randy Libros
Climate Justice Team Member

“I work for climate justice because I want an equitable, livable future for all.”

Elisa McCool
Climate Justice Team Member

Our Voter Engagement

POWER’s Climate Justice and Jobs team participates in POWER’s massive voter engagement drives throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.

Some of POWER’s climate justice voting engagement is supported by the Reimagined Energy for Our Communities, U.S. (REFOCUS) campaign. REFOCUS is an effort to amplify the need for a truly resilient, community-based, and decentralized energy model. In solidarity with activists in Puerto Rico, we are tying the narrative threads of the centralized energy struggle across the country and inviting organizations to sign on to the Quick Response Solidarity Program for a local, community-controlled, and decentralized energy system on the island via bit.ly/REFOCUSnow.

How You Can Get Involved

Please check the POWER calendar for monthly Climate Justice and Jobs team meetings or contact Julie Greenberg at jgreenberg@powerinterfaith.org for further information. When you are interested in joining the work, we’ll arrange some one-on-one sessions with you to learn more about your interests, about how you want to grow and about your vision. We’ll also orient you to the campaigns and help you engage whether it is as a leader, a funder, or a partnering organization. And we are a learning community so there is constant training in organizing, in dismantling racism and in policy possibilities that meet people’s needs. All are welcome — everyone brings our own life experience and questions to further the work and we need everyone.

You are invited to co-create this justice journey towards a better world.

Resources