The Electric Future campaign is pushing New Haven towards having 100 percent of its buildings, vehicles, and appliances powered by electricity, rather than the natural gas and gasoline that many of them currently run on. To truly decarbonize, we must power everything using clean energy, and electrification is a necessary step in that process. Additional benefits of electrification include long-term savings on energy bills and public health benefits from improved air quality.
We created the Climate Education team with the goal of expanding climate change education in New Haven public schools and to encourage schools to make changes that cut greenhouse gases in their everyday operations. The Board of Education (BoE) agreed in 2021 to implement our Climate Justice Schools project in five high schools to provide students with the education and skills to address this crisis. In 2022 we created the BoE Climate Emergency Resolution and we’re calling for the BoE to pass this resolution to lead on climate action with respect to building and transportation emissions, and climate education.
The BoE Climate Emergency Resolution was created in the spring of 2022, specifically targeting the New Haven Board of Education to declare a climate emergency. We’re calling for the BoE to pass this resolution to improve sustainability and environmental practices inside our classrooms and inspire a new generation of climate leaders.
In 2021 we pushed for part of the Federal relief funds coming to New Haven (over $90 million) be directed to climate, public health and green jobs programs. Specifically, we've called for 10% of the New Haven Rescue Plan ($9 million) to go to staff and other expenses related to clean energy jobs creation, energy efficiency outreach/education/programs (to save families money and create jobs), increased climate education, and transportation improvement (to reduce air pollution and help people get to work/school). The Board of Alders approved an initial $5 million in climate spending in August 2022.
Today’s car-centric transportation system has proven to be unsustainable, energy inefficient, and negatively impacting the health of communities. These consequences disproportionally effect groups least likely to own or drive a car. The need to re-imagine our transportation system is about more than getting from point A to B, it’s about the health, safety, equality, and vitality of our communities, and ensuring the needs of the most vulnerable members are met.
In the summer of 2019, our team worked to mobilize New Haven residents in support of declaring a climate emergency in conjunction with the Climate Mobilization platform and other cities across the world. On September 3, the New Haven Board of Alders unanimously passed our Climate Emergency resolution, which recognizes the Climate Emergency by calling for zero emissions by 2030 and a city climate mobilization task force.