We at the Southeast Climate & Energy Network (SCEN) envision the southeastern United States as the leading region for just, equitable and inclusive solutions to the climate crisis. We aim to confront this unprecedented crisis by creating strategic alignment, growing capacity, and building power among our nearly 80 member organizations and their communities throughout our region. We recognize that the scope of our work, while primarily focused in the South, cannot take place in a silo and must consider the implications of the climate crisis on the Global South and US territories, such as Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands. Because of this, we are participating in international spaces and collaborating with civil society at all levels. There is much commonality in terms of issues, resources and capacities and critical opportunities for shared learning and collaboration. Given the scope of the multitude of problems we are dealing with, we do not have a choice.
SCEN’S burgeoning involvement in the international community through the US Climate Action Network (USCAN) and how international negotiations affect us and our work in the Southeast includes being involved with topics such as:
Legal agreements - fossil fuel companies can sue governments for loss of expected profits
Standards and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s)- how this drives policies, emissions caps, energy credits
Loss & Damage- asking for the creation of an international piggy bank
U.S. Fair Shares
International communities’ funding of renewable energy and research and development
Human rights and their relation to renewable energy, such as pushing for a heavy consideration of the impact of sourcing the materials for renewable energy on black, brown, and indigenous communities
Adaptation- building requirements and funding for infrastructure and more.
The People’s Justice Council reviewed the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the IPCC, specifically the Working Group II’s Summary for Policymakers (SPM), which illuminated the reality that we all know:
We must adapt quickly and broadly to the climate crisis within the decade, or the compounding crises will make it even more strenuous to adapt.
We must understand and grieve what will inevitably be lost and what we are currently losing due to locked-in warming and a lack of governmental action and accountability for decades. Loss and damages must be assessed. Disastrous effects will be felt by 2040, which is a conservative estimate. We know that we are seeing changes now on the frontlines.
We must follow Indigenous and frontline leadership and knowledge.
We must expand rights to nature and conservation efforts while holding industries and governments accountable.
We must prioritize vulnerable communities and ecosystems, especially in the Global South and Southern US.
We must avoid maladaptation, which is where the “solution” backfires and can even be worse than the problem - in some cases reinforcing dysfunctioning, inequitable processes and systems.