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  • January 31, 2023 4:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In January 2023, the Climate Action team hosted three interns from Oberlin College. Every year, Oberlin students get to spend their January as a “Winter Term,” completing an independent project or internship with an organization or company. We were fortunate to host Alex Weintraub, Ana Santos, and Elijah Busch. Read on to hear about their background, what work they supported at Green Umbrella, and some key takeaways!

    Alex Weintraub

    Hello everyone, my name is Alex Weintraub and I had the incredible opportunity to do a climate policy internship at Green Umbrella. This month-long micro-internship was made possible as part of the January winter term experience at Oberlin College. I am a first year student, and I am pursuing a double major in Engineering and Geoscience. I am passionate about climate justice and advocacy, and I am interested in the field of environmental studies. I have lots of experience doing climate policy work from previous internship experiences, so I easily fit in at Green Umbrella. 

    My internship was primarily focussed on data analysis and collection. My first project consisted of developing a baseline analysis for which to determine the state of climate preparedness within local communities in Green Umbrella’s Regional Climate Collaborative. I designed an interactive dashboard which will show the effectiveness of the RCC in its mission to provide effective support to local communities in the fight against climate change. In my second project, I was tasked with designing a survey which seeks to measure the performance of local governments in combating climate change. This survey is linked to another dashboard, which will highlight the results in a way that will allow the Regional Climate Collaborative to track the most important indicators of local government climate preparedness such as greenhouse gas emissions, climate funding, and sustainable infrastructure needs.

    The climate policy internship at Green Umbrella was an incredible experience which I greatly value. I am thankful for this great opportunity to make a difference in Cincinnati and the surrounding area. 

    Ana Santos

    My name is Ana Santos, and I am a first year student at Oberlin College. While I haven’t declared a major yet, I will likely study Politics. I have always taken an interest in both climate and food justice, and I was fortunate enough to be able to pursue my interests with Green Umbrella as a Climate Action and Food Justice Intern. Climate action and food justice are two pressing issues of our time that are deeply interconnected. Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in an internship focused on these issues. As part of the program, I worked with a team of dedicated individuals who are committed to promoting sustainable food systems and fighting against the negative effects of climate change that disproportionately affect marginalized populations.

    For my work with Green Umbrella, I set two learning goals: gaining a greater understanding of the policy process and translating community needs into policy recommendations, as well as translating policy recommendations for community understanding. 

    Part of this communication process that I explored with Green Umbrella included social media posts, which I created to inform the general public on food sovereignty, or the right of people to healthy and culturally appropriate food, and the idea of food as medicine, which refers to the intersection between nutrition and healthcare. I was also sure I identified local organizations like our harvest, freestore food bank, and produce perks that address food sovereignty and food as medicine. Additionally, I worked with the Food Policy Council to create a presentation for new members on the intersection between food sovereignty and food as medicine. While conducting research I found that food sovereignty is closely tied to the idea of food as medicine, as it acknowledges the crucial role that food plays in maintaining health and well-being. Additionally, my research demonstrated when individuals and communities have control over their food systems, they are able to make informed decisions about what they eat, and to prioritize healthy and nutritious foods. I designed this slideshow with the intention to be able to pass on knowledge to others to be able to work on or conduct research on food as medicine and food as sovereignty. 

    For both of my positions I conducted research on local and national organizations. For my Climate Action internship, I looked at different organizations and working groups within the Regional Climate Collaborative with the intention of developing two working groups, the “Community Listening and Engagement Working Group,” and the “Preparing Partners and People Working Group.” I identified organizations within the Collaborative that focused on equity and justice and frontline communities. Researching working groups within the Collaborative gave me a greater understanding of the policy process within such organizations, and the way that these organizations influence the policy process. This project translated well into my research on local organizations within the ten counties served by Green Umbrella that helped frontline communities. For my Food Justice internship, I created a landscape analysis of the counties served by Green Umbrella, focusing on data on income level, health rates, food insecurity rates, population statistics, racial demographics, and agricultural statistics. 

    This internship was a valuable learning experience that allowed me to gain hands-on experience working towards sustainable food systems and climate action. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of such a meaningful cause, and I am excited to continue working towards a more sustainable and just future for our planet and its people.

    Elijah Busch

    My name is Elijah Busch and I am currently a second-year student at Oberlin College, majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. I was excited to gain valuable experience in the field of climate action through my internship at Green Umbrella. My passion for the environment was fostered by previous experiences working in the temperate rainforest of Sitka, Alaska and participating in Outward Bound trips in the Northwest Cascade Mountains. My goal for this internship was to make a meaningful impact in the fight against climate change.

    During my time at Green Umbrella, I was responsible for researching and compiling information on upcoming 2023 elections in the ten-county regional area. This included identifying the locations and jurisdictions of the elections, such as cities, villages, and townships. Additionally, I researched and analyzed case studies on how to best engage potential candidates and assist them in creating a climate-based platform. This research will be used to inform Green Umbrella's efforts to support and promote climate-conscious candidates in the 2023 elections.

    In addition, I worked on the development of a regional climate action playbook for Green Umbrella by researching and analyzing existing examples of similar playbooks from other regions. This involved writing in-depth analyses of their strengths and weaknesses, identifying best practices, and recommending strategies for Green Umbrella to consider as they create their own playbook.

    Throughout this internship, I gained a deeper understanding of the importance of community engagement and grassroots efforts in the fight against climate change. I also learned the value of researching and analyzing existing examples as a tool for developing effective strategies. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such a dedicated and passionate team at Green Umbrella and am excited to continue working towards a more sustainable future.

  • January 31, 2023 4:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read below for some highlights from our open survey, which is intended for anyone interested in sharing feedback regarding how climate change is affecting their community across the Greater Cincinnati region. Information from this survey will be analyzed to better understand localized climate needs in order to strategically combat risks throughout southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeastern Indiana.

    If you haven’t filled out the survey, make sure you do so to ensure that your community is represented! Fill out the survey here.

    • Cincinnati has the most respondents by far, making up over half of all responses. Covington had the second most responses at 13 percent.

    • More than three quarters of respondents indicated that extreme heat and severe summer storms posed great risk to their communities. 

    • Stormwater systems, roads, and wastewater systems were indicated as most in need of infrastructure investment.

    • More than half of respondents indicated that local governments arelacking in policy related to a wide variety of issues, including: renewable energy, land use, stormwater management, mobility and transportation, air quality, extreme heat management, and housing.

    • Communities are most concerned about housing and utility costs, public health, air quality, building and energy, social, racial and economic justice, food, education and outreach, and heat. 

    • Housing and utility costs, social, racial, and economic justice, food, heat, mobility, and financial empowerment were indicated to impact most heavily on the most disadvantaged communities.

    • The reasons why local governments have not implemented more climate efforts was indicated by respondents as due to lack of funding for existing climate programs, climate not being a political priority, and the government is learning about climate issues.

    • Respondents indicated that the Regional Climate Collaborative can best support their climate action efforts by building political will for climate action, developing collaboration opportunities, and creating funding opportunities.

    • Respondents would like to see their local governments create comprehensive climate plans, sustainability/energy/climate action plans, and renewable energy programs. 

  • November 28, 2022 10:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Author: Tanner Yess (Groundwork Ohio River Valley) and Savannah Sullivan (Green Umbrella)

    Since spring 2021, Groundwork Ohio River Valley and Green Umbrella have led Climate Advisory Groups (CAG) in Lower Price Hill, Bond Hill and Roselawn, and the Beekman Corridor (English Woods, Millvale, North Fairmount, South Cumminsville, and South Fairmount) in partnership with the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability. The CAGs brought together dozens of community leaders of all ages to raise awareness of climate impacts in our most vulnerable communities, create climate resilience plans, and engage community members in government climate planning. These efforts were led through Groundwork Ohio River Valley and Green Umbrella’s Climate Safe Neighborhoods Partnership, which is dedicated to centering underserved communities, equity, and justice in regional climate planning efforts in Greater Cincinnati.

    With climate resilience plans in hand, the next step is to organize local residents, community-based organizations, businesses, and government entities to implement the neighborhood-level vision. Climate Safe Neighborhoods is excited to share that three tree plantings were successfully completed this fall as a result of the resident-led resilience plans:

    • Beekman Corridor (South Cumminsville): 9 trees planted on resident property with residents. Trees planted by Groundwork's Green Corps.

    • Bond Hill and Roselawn: 6 trees planted on resident property with residents. Trees planted by Groundwork's Green Corps and funded by a Taking Root grant led by Margaux Roberts, a former CAG Resident Leader and current Community Organizer for Groundwork.

    • Lower Price Hill: 90 large street trees planted with Cincinnati Parks. Over 180 volunteers from Madtree Brewing and residents helped Groundwork and Parks staff plant trees on right-of-way/sidewalks and city property.

    Next steps for the Climate Safe Neighborhoods Partnership includes finalizing a 2023 strategic implementation plan. The Groundwork and Green Umbrella team members are in the process of project planning–to learn more, reach out to the Climate Safe Neighborhoods Director, Savannah Sullivan (savannah@greenumbrella.org) and Climate Safe Neighborhoods Lead, Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson (khawkins-johnson@groundworkorv.org). 

  • November 22, 2022 12:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you know the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) just wrapped up? Below are some of the strategies and agreements leaders and advocates from across the world agreed on to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    1. An agreement to establish a “Loss and Damage” fund for historically ignored countries that are vulnerable to climate change. Developing countries will be able to access technical assistance and resources through the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage to reduce greenhouse gasses, however an implementation strategy still needs to be developed.
    2. The establishment of the 2022 Global Climate Observing System and Implementation Plan to address knowledge gaps in developing nations’ natural environments (oceans, mountains, deserts, and polar regions). This will assist vulnerable communities in developing data driven climate mitigation strategies and early warning systems.
    3. The Least Developed Countries Expert Group announced as of now, 17 of the 46 least developed countries have submitted national adaptation plans since 2010. Fourteen nations have successfully accessed funding to implement climate resilience projects.
    4. A total of $11.3 billion has been approved by the Green Climate Fund to implement over 200 climate adaptation and mitigation projects in 128 developing countries. Although developed countries have not reached their goal to collectively pledge $100 billion per year by 2020, several have pledged over $300 million to the Adaptation Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund, and Special Climate Change Fund. COP27 urged developed countries to deliver on their pledges.
    5. An agreement from world leaders could not be reached to phase down the production of fossil fuels. While island countries and other frontline nations advocated to reduce dependency, oil rich countries announced they would continue to produce fossil fuels, but claimed they would invest in carbon sequestration projects to capture emissions.

    The COP meeting demonstrated the significance of every day climate actions on humanity’s ability to slow down a warming planet. It is because of advocates like yourself that Green Umbrella is able to support local climate action initiatives. Will you consider donating to Green Umbrella to further the mission of creating resilient and equitable communities across our region?

  • November 15, 2022 2:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Author: Krutarth Jain, President, AIA Cincinnati

    The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes historic funding levels - a total of $225 million – for building energy codes updates, adoption, and implementation. It will be available through the Department of Energy’s new Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation grant program, with the application process expected to open in fall 2022. The funding presents an opportunity for Green Umbrella and its members to make significant progress towards their sustainability and resilience goals, provided Region members are ready to take advantage of the opportunity. 

    In preparation for DOE’s funding, AIA Cincinnati is building relationships with key municipal officials and encouraging members to get involved in the development of the new Green Cincinnati plan. As subject-matter experts in the design/build environment, architects are uniquely positioned to help guide and shape projects like Green Cincinnati, and to partner with Cincinnati 2030 District members committed to developing sustainable buildings. Updated and enforced building energy codes are a necessary part of that sustainable development.

    The current administration announced its National Initiative to Advance Building Codes in June, to help state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments develop resilient and sustainable communities in ways that lower energy costs and create jobs. According to a report from the National Institute of Building Sciences, resilience investments produce, on average, an ROI of $11 for every $1 spent, and the Department of Energy estimates that residential code updates pay for themselves in less than four years, while commercial buildings see a positive net return in the very first year.

    The Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation program will provide competitive grants to state agencies and their partners that have demonstrated intent and capacity to advance their energy, climate, and resilience goals. Grant funding can be used for adoption and/or implementation of updated building energy codes; expanded workforce development opportunities; codes compliance; and advancement of equity, energy, and environmental justice. 

    The program is structured such that state government agencies must be the lead entities on grant applications. However, DOE strongly encourages agencies to form partnerships with organizations and other entities that provide expertise related to codes adoption and implementation. These potential partnerships represent a significant opportunity for members of both Green Umbrella and the Cincinnati 2030 District, and AIA Cincinnati is eager to partner with members at all phases of planning, application, and execution of DOE funding-related initiatives.

    The Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation grants are potentially game-changing opportunities for cities and states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve resilience, and provide billions of dollars in energy savings for families and business owners. AIA Cincinnati stands ready to partner with Green Umbrella, Cincinnati 2030 District members, and similar entities in the important work of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating more resilient, sustainable, and equitable communities. Read the full Notice of Intent here.

    More details on the Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation program are available here, and well as in AIA’s summary.

    In May, AIA National hosted a webinar with the Department of Energy, to discuss the both the energy codes grants and other funding made available via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. That webinar can be viewed here.

  • November 08, 2022 2:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Authors: Kylie Johnson, Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund

    Nolan Rutschilling, Kylie Johnson, and Councilmember Meeka Owens

    Even when it was first introduced, President Biden’s Build Back Better plan wastouted as the most significant federal action ever taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But the plan was met with resistance over the past year and a half, and at one point this summer completely stalled and its passage declared nearly impossible. However, many provisions in the President’s original plan evolved to become the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes historic investments in clean energy projects, jobs, and incentives to build the energy grid for today and tomorrow. For Ohio, the investment means cleaner air, more electric vehicles on the road, a bolstered advanced manufacturing sector, and lower energy bills. The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) Action Fund launched a major statewide ad campaign to raise awareness of the IRA’s climate and jobs provisions. To learn more, read the press release


    A MAJOR Climate Victory

    In August, Congress  passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022—cost-saving legislation that makes overdue investments in clean energy, improves energy security, and will build a more affordable, healthy, just, and equitable future. The combined investments in the bill put the U.S. on a path to roughly 40% emissions reduction by 2030, and represent the single biggest climate investment in U.S. history, by far. For more on the Inflation Reduction Act, please visit this resource page from our partners at the League of Conservation Voters, or check out this recent Statehouse News Bureau interview featuring OEC Action Fund Political Director Spencer Dirrig.

    The OEC and Power a Clean Future Ohio go to Washington, DC!

    In August, Joe Flarida, Executive Director of Power a Clean Future Ohio (PCFO), testified before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee in coordination with the Ohio Environmental Council’s (OEC) Energy team. The invitation came from the Committee Chair Senator Brown to highlight a new report the OEC published with Power a Clean Future Ohio and Scioto Analysis outlining the cost on local governments to deal with climate change. The hearing focused on the financial impact of climate change. The testimony and the report accounts for costs associated with climate adaptations that fall on municipal budgets, including infrastructure improvements, public health services, natural systems protections, and more. 

    Senator Brown started the hearing with a powerful statement: “Climate change is here. The country knows it. Ask mayors, ask school superintendents, ask county commissioners about the increasing costs they deal with already because of climate change—costs we know will only get worse—and we know who will be forced to pay for these costs. It’s not the oil companies making record profits… it’s the local taxpayers. The likely impact of climate change could cost people in my state $6 billion a year.”

    You can view the hearing online and read our joint press release with Power a Clean Future Ohio.


    A Return to Business in the Capitol

    State legislators returned to Columbus to kick-off another “Lame Duck” session for the remainder of the year. Activity might pick back up again in mid-November. Some of the bills the OEC Action Fund will advocate for and play defense against include:


    • SB 320 Voter ID Requirements - Senator Gavarone / HB 650 Voter ID Requirements - Representatives Wiggam & Young

    • HB 385 National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Prohibition in Western Lake Erie Basin - Representative Cross

    • HB 685 Pipeline Tax Incentives - Representatives Jon Cross and Jay Edwards


    • SJR 2 Water Bond - Senators Gavarone and Yuko

    • SB 313 To Revise Coastal Management at ODNR - Senators Gavarone and Manning

    • HB 317 PUCO reform/ratemaking - Representative Wilkin

    • HB 389 Energy Efficiency Programs - Representatives Seitz and Leland

    • HB 450 Community Solar - Representative Baldridge

    • HB 596 Electronic Voting for Overseas Veterans - Representatives A. Miller and Hicks-Hudson

    • HB 641 Permanent Absent Voter List - Representative Skindell

    Any items that aren’t signed into law this year will have to start the process over again next year as the 135th General Assembly will officially begin with any new or returning state legislators.

    A BIG Win for Wind Energy

    North America's first freshwater offshore wind farm was cleared to move forward after the Ohio Supreme Court, in a 6-1 decision, approved a permit for the Icebreaker Wind Project in August! For more than 10 years, the Ohio Environmental Council carefully studied, strongly supported, and, ultimately, fiercely defended the Icebreaker Wind project as it faced significant opposition from fossil fuel interests. This project is an exciting six-turbine wind energy demonstration project in Lake Erie that will be a strong win for our environment and our economy—helping us combat air pollution and climate change while also creating more than 500 jobs and injecting $253 million into the local economy. 

    The Ohio Supreme Court decision is a huge victory for Ohioans who deserve bold action on climate change and a healthier environment. Learn more about the decision and our 10 years of advocacy with our interactive timeline.

    Long-Term H2Ohio Planning

    Over the last several months, our team met with environmental and industry partners to map out a course to secure long-term public funding for H2Ohio, the state’s well-rounded, science-based water quality improvement program. While public support from the Governor likely won’t occur until after his general election is over, this informal coalition is looking to approve a state constitutional amendment to trigger the acquisition of bonds to fund the program. Stable funding would ensure the program could continue the work already being done for a 10-year period, rather than two years at a time as it is currently funded. H2Ohio needs to finalize an advocacy strategy in the coming weeks as well as key details for this proposal, and develop public polling to assess the support of voters. More action will likely occur later in the next month and a half during the “Lame Duck” session.

    Congressional Redistricting Fight Continues

    Unfortunately, members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission blocked voter-supported fair maps reform for the 2022 election, forcing Ohioans to vote in primaries on May 3 and the general election on November 8 under an unconstitutional congressional district plan. Still, the fight continues. Partners filed appeals of the second gerrymandered congressional plan in March, and the OEC filed an amicus brief in support of that appeal on May 5, 2022 as well as a reply amicus brief

    In July, the Ohio Supreme Court invalidated the second congressional map, once again striking a victory for redistricting advocates. On October 14, Ohio’s top Republican lawmakers announced they are appealing the ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court that renders the state’s congressional map unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. We continue to monitor this case and do our part in the fight for fair maps. 


    2023 Green Cincinnati Plan Progress

    The Green Cincinnati Plan (GCP) effort has helped establish Cincinnati as a national leader in sustainability. The Plan has been updated every five years since 2008, largely through a community engagement process. The 2023 plan will establish aggressive carbon neutrality goals by 2050, with a near-term 50% reduction by 2030. 

    From August to October, community members participated in Focus Area meetings to provide insight and feedback on the next iteration of the Plan. Now efforts will enter a time of assessment, analysis, and review by other key stakeholders before the finalized Plan resurfaces for Council approval in early spring 2023. You can continue to keep track of the Plan progress by visiting the Green Cincinnati Plan CitizenLab website.

    City of Cincinnati Updates

    • $3.5M for Parks:

      • $1.5M for stream stabilization efforts in California Woods

      • $1M for renovation in the lower portion of Inwood Park

      • $1M for erosion stabilization efforts in Smale Riverfront Park

    • $3M for neighborhood pedestrian improvement projects

    • $2.3M for Parks and Recreation projects, including improvements to Bold Face Park and MLK Jr. Park

    • Mayor Aftab Pureval recommitted the city to the 10-Minute Walk Program of the Trust for Public Land, a commitment to make sure every Cincinnatian lives within walking distance of a park or other public greenspace.

    • The City applied for a U.S. EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant Program grant. If received, the funds will be used to provide resources for brownfield inventories, environmental assessments, community engagement plans, and other similar work in the environmentally vulnerable neighborhoods along the Lower Mill Creek Industrial Corridor.

    • Councilmember Meeka D. Owens sponsored a presentation and resolution in support of a grant application by the Cardinal Land Conservancy to preserve land in the Wooden Shoe Hollow area of Cincinnati.

    • Councilmember Mark Jeffreys will be introducing a “Complete Streets” ordinance this November, prioritizing people-first street designs.

    The Bill is Coming Due for Cincinnati

    In September, OEC’s Managing Director of Energy Policy Nolan Rutschilling joined Southwest Ohio Regional Director Kylie Johnson in Cincinnati to present at the Cincinnati Climate, Environment & Infrastructure (CEI) Committee meeting. Nolan’s presentation outlined the OEC’s latest report with Power a Clean Future Ohio and Scioto Analysis that breaks down the financial costs of climate change for Ohio municipalities. Nolan highlighted specific costs coming due for Cincinnati with the intent of providing local leaders with the information needed to take bold climate action. Councilmember Meeka Owens, Chair of the CEI Committee, has been a strong champion of the report. At the July statewide press briefing, she joined Youngstown City Councilmember Lauren McNally and Toledo City Councilmember Nick Komives to discuss the report’s significance. To watch Nolan’s testimony at the CEI Committee, visit CitiCable

    Each and every day, we’re proud to continue fighting for a healthier environment for all Ohioans, especially alongside partners like Green Umbrella. If you’re interested in getting updates and action alerts from the OEC Action Fund, please sign up here. We encourage you to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for regular updates. You can also visit the OEC Action Fund website for the 2021 legislative scorecard update, and be on the lookout for a full 134th General Assembly scorecard update in early 2023! 

    Please also be sure to follow our sibling organization, the Ohio Environmental Council, for additional educational opportunities. Sign up for our Southwest Ohio newsletter or follow the OEC’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages for regular updates.

  • August 30, 2022 2:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Climate Equity In Cincinnati, OH

    Prior to completing the Climate Equity Benchmarking Analysis Report, the City of Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, Green Umbrella, Groundwork Ohio River Valley, and Adaptation International collaborated to complete the Cincinnati Climate Equity Indicators Report in 2021. The data revealed the differences in quality of life in each of the 52 neighborhoods, and quantitatively demonstrated why some communities were more vulnerable to climate change than others. Factors such as tree canopy coverage, proximity to pollution sources, and high percentages of impervious surfaces all contribute to higher incidence of respiratory diseases amongst other health problems. To better prepare all Cincinnati communities for the climate crisis, the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environmental Sustainability commissioned Green Umbrella to examine innovative climate equity plans, ordinances and initiatives in 20 U.S cities. 

    Our Approach

    Our analysis drew from evaluation and data measurement methods developed by the Institute for Sustainable Communities and Georgetown Climate Center. The case studies were then selected based on their proximity to Cincinnati, population size, and ability to demonstrate actionable strategies that equitably improve quality of life for community members. Cities included: 

    Cleveland,OH Milwaukee, WI New Orleans, LA  Oakland, CA 
    Chicago, IL Carmel, IN Austin, TX Los Angeles, CA
    St Paul, MN Providence, RI Houston, TX Santa Ana, CA
    Bloomington, IN Baltimore, MD Portland, OR Tucson, AZ
    Bloomington, IN Ithaca, NY Seattle, WA Phoenix, AZ

    Kamikatsu, Japan and Paris, France served as international examples. National case studies included the Whitehouse Justice40 online community engagement portal, a national community resilience hub training network, and the Climate Justice Act of Illinois. 

    Identified strategies were then organized around eight key “Focus Areas” that local governments can take action on to draw down greenhouse gas emissions, improve the predictability of their budgets, and address inequities. Focus Area categories included City Operations, Buildings & Energy, Education and Outreach, Food, Mobility, Natural Environment, Mobility, Resilience, and Zero Waste. The analysis also categorized case studies by five types of equity: 

    • Recognition Equity: Identifying and acknowledging injustices affecting specific populations

    • Procedural Equity: Addressing power structures and access to participation in decision-making

    • Distributional Equity: Addressing the distribution of burdens and benefits across different populations

    • Restorative Equity: Making a commitment to correct past harms and facilitate repair

    • Transformative Equity:Addressing underlying structural conditions that are the root cause of social and racial injustices. Strategies cultivate accountability, reduce harm, and prevent future unintended consequences.

    We created a sortable matrix of the 400+ strategies, and then identified themes within the different types of equity–the report provides descriptions of these themes, as well as guiding questions to support communities in the development of their own tailored approaches.

    Read the full Climate Equity Analysis Benchmarking Report here!

    Next Steps

    Currently, Green Umbrella is continuing to support the 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan process by participating in the Equity Committee and generating one-pagers for every Focus Area Subcommittee on the relevant themes from the report. We are also partnering with Groundwork Ohio River Valley to co-lead the Climate Safe Community Series, which is four meetings to engage underserved community members across 11 of our Cincinnati most climate vulnerable neighborhoods. The findings from the report are supporting our direct engagement, catalyzing and aligning with ideas from local residents.

    Green Umbrella is also committed to ensuring these equitable themes support communities across our 10-county region and inform the development of actions led by the recently launched Greater Cincinnati Regional Climate Collaborative. 

    Take action right now through the following: 

    • If you’re a Cincinnati resident, attend one of the upcoming public Focus Area Meetings.

    • Complete our Regional Climate Collaborative Launch Survey before October 5 to ensure your voice is included in our assessment of climate impacts and desired climate actions!

    • Join a Regional Climate Collaborative Working Group Feedback Session to share your thoughts on what kind of equitable climate actions you want to see in your community, and how Green Umbrella can support action and provide resources. 

    If you have any questions or comments on the report, reach out to the Green Umbrella Climate Policy Team: Savannah (savannah@greenumbrella.org) and Tyeisha (tyeisha@greenumbrella.org)!

  • August 16, 2022 2:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Blog Author: Darryl Franklin, Beekman Corridor Climate Advisory Group

    This guest blog post from a partner organization or individual reflects the work and opinions of the author and does not reflect action taken by Green Umbrella staff or board.

    In summer 2022, Groundwork Ohio River Valley and Green Umbrella hosted the Beekman Corridor Climate Advisory Group (CAG) in partnership with the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability and Working in Neighborhoods. The CAG brought together 16 community leaders of all ages from the following neighborhoods: English Woods, Millvale, North Fairmount, South Cumminsville, and South Fairmount. The goals of the CAG are to raise awareness of climate impacts in our most vulnerable communities, create climate resilience plans, and engage community members in government climate planning. This project was led through the Climate Safe Neighborhoods Partnership, which is dedicated to centering underserved communities, equity, and justice in regional climate planning efforts in Greater Cincinnati.

    I am Darryl Franklin. I have lived in North Fairmount since 1967. I am a Navy veteran, a retired sheet metal worker, and a musician. I served as North Fairmount Community Council President (1987-1992) and I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Cincinnati. Most importantly, I am married and the father of four.

    I attended my first Climate Advisory Group meeting full of skepticism, fully expecting a lot of talk and little or no action. I was pleasantly surprised to find a more than competent group of leaders/organizers who not only have plans, but also have a track record of successful community involvement. Their dedication to climate awareness has inspired me to commit to work toward climate remediation and resiliency, and to spread the word that climate change affects us all, and we can all do our part to save our planet. I believe this group’s efforts can, and will, bring organizations and communities together to promote neighborhood climate resiliency.

    The City of Cincinnati’s Green Cincinnati Plan, which our Climate Advisory Group work has informed, has six focus areas: 1) Natural Environment, 2) Food, 3) Buildings and Energy, 4) Zero Waste, 5) Advocacy and Outreach, and 6) Mobility. Together they form the framework for developing a comprehensive approach to community involvement in recognizing, understanding, and acting to confront climate change. Community members, volunteers, and activists collaborate with Green Cincinnati Plan organizers to develop climate resiliency strategies that are designed for each neighborhood.

    As a resident of the Beekman Street Corridor, I am currently the liaison for the Zero Waste Subcommittee. Our goal is to bring awareness to composting, recycling, reusing, and reducing waste to zero. My hope is that my friends and neighbors become aware of the services available to assist our community in creating and implementing our Climate Resiliency Plan that is effective, equitable, and sustainable.

  • July 26, 2022 2:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Author: Kylie Johnson, Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund

    This guest blog post from a partner organization or individual reflects the work and opinions of the author and does not reflect action taken by Green Umbrella staff or board.

    The need for serious action on climate has been highlighted this summer — from dangerous heat waves to devastating blackouts, right here in our community.

    A new report by the Ohio Environmental Council, Power a Clean Future Ohio, and Scioto Analysis estimates that these climate impacts come at a steep cost. The report, The Bill is Coming Due: Calculating the Financial Cost of Climate Change to Ohio’s Local Governments, provides a conservative estimate of the additional costs that municipalities — including Cincinnati — can expect to incur due to climate change. Across the state, local governments will need to increase municipal spending by as much as $5.9 billion annually by 2050 in order to adapt to the challenges of a worsening climate crisis. To learn more, please visit: https://www.poweracleanfuture.org/oh-municipal-costs-of-climate-change 


    Examining the Impact of SCOTUS’s WV v. EPA Decision

    In June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a destructive and dangerous decision in West Virginia vs EPA. This specific ruling significantly limits the U.S. EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions coming from existing power plants—endangering the health of our communities and planet in favor of polluters—at a time when we need every tool in the toolbox to combat the climate crisis. The decision rejects a well-established precedent that, for more than 50 years, has enabled the EPA to require pollution reductions in the interest of cleaner air and safer water. As a result, communities—especially communities of color historically overburdened by pollution—will be at a much greater risk of breathing dirtier air and suffering from the increased impacts of climate change.

    You can read more about the Ohio Environmental Council’s reaction to the ruling here and the need for good judges to protect our environment here.

    Congressional Action on Climate Stalls with Reconciliation Bill

    At the federal level, the OEC Action Fund and our partners at the League of Conservation Voters have been pushing for climate action to be included in the Senate reconciliation deal and continue to monitor the back-and-forth negotiations. As Congress debates the measure, it is imperative that President Biden and his administration take sweeping executive action right now to reduce climate pollution and ensure no dirty fossil fuel projects move forward. Join our partners at LCV in demanding action to advance climate justice now


    The Ohio General Assembly is on recess through mid-November, which means things are quiet at the Statehouse for the moment. 

    The OEC Action Fund took advantage of the quiet to host a webinar in late June 2022 that brought together our team of experts to discuss what environmental policy we’ve been tracking at the local, state, and federal level through the first half of the year — and noting what’s to come. While you may not have been able to attend, we encourage you to check out our Look Back, Look Forward: Statewide Environmental Policy Briefing.

    Hear from our policy experts on the State of Ohio’s Environment: 


    [ LAND VIDEO ]





    Watch our short videos and share with your networks. 

    A few highlights when it comes to climate policy if reading is more your speed: 

    A WIN for solar! Senate Bill 61 signed into law

    In June, the OEC Action Fund welcomed the signing of Senate Bill 61. The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Senators Louis Blessing (R-Cincinnati) and Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), eliminates market barriers for solar development by preventing homeowner associations (HOAs) from imposing unfair restrictions on homeowners that want to go solar. 

    Continuing the Fight Against House Bill 6

    July marks three years since the “worst energy bill of the 21st century” was signed into law, two years since former House Speaker Larry Householder and four others were arrested for their role is the corruption scheme around HB 6, and one year since FirstEnergy admitted to bribing elected officials to pass the bad bill. 

    HB 6 was always a bad deal for Ohioans, sticking us with dirtier air and higher utility bills while gutting our clean energy future. While part of the bad bill was repealed, Ohioans are still on the hook. We're paying $287,671 every day to bail out the outdated, dirty coal plants owned by the majority of Ohio’s utility companies. And our state is falling further behind with no renewable energy and energy efficiency standards on the books.

    We continue to fight for the full repeal of HB 6 while also fighting for the future of our state. That’s why legislation like the Energy Jobs and Justice Act is so important.

    Promoting the Energy Jobs & Justice Act

    It is clear that after decades of energy policy that largely favors utilities and fossil fuels, Ohio needs forward-looking, equitable solutions that are good for our economy, our communities, and our health. Even over summer recess, the OEC Action Fund ​​continues its advocacy work on the Energy Jobs & Justice Act (Ohio House Bill 429)—an intentionally-designed, comprehensive clean energy policy rooted in equity, economic development, and accountability. The legislation aims to move Ohio toward a more equitable clean energy future by encouraging clean energy growth, energy waste reduction, and curbing utility influence over policymaking and regulatory actions. Importantly, the legislation centers on equitable policy design to make sure those most historically and disproportionately harmed by Ohio’s regressive energy policies benefit most from a clean energy transition. All with the goal to ensure 100% carbon-free electricity generation and use by 2050! 

    To learn more about the Energy Jobs and Justice Act and to get updates on advocacy actions, sign up here. Be on the lookout for opportunities to plug in this fall! 


    2023 Green Cincinnati Plan Progress

    The Green Cincinnati Plan (GCP) effort has helped establish Cincinnati as a national leader in sustainability. The Plan has been updated every 5 years since 2008 largely through a community engagement process. On March 31, 2022, nearly 300 people attended the 2023 GCP kickoff event at the Cincinnati Zoo and offered feedback on what the Plan update should include. During the kickoff, Mayor Aftab Pureval and City Councilmember Meeka Owens, Chair of the GCP Steering Committee, emphasized the importance of centering equity and environmental justice in the Plan update. The 2023 plan will establish aggressive carbon neutrality goals by 2050, with a near-term 50% reduction by 2030. 

    Now through October, the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment & Sustainability (OES) is conducting public meetings for community members to provide insight and feedback on the next iteration of the Green Cincinnati Plan. Ohio Environmental Council Southwest Ohio Regional Director, Kylie Johnson, will be leading the Advocacy, Education & Outreach Focus Area meetings on September 8th and October 19th from 6-7:30 pm. To learn more, you can watch a recording of the kickoff event on CitiCable and view the community meeting schedule on the OES website.

    Mayor Aftab Pureval speaking at the Green Cincinnati Plan kickoff event at the Cincinnati Zoo

  • July 20, 2022 3:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join Green Umbrella for the first Working Group Feedback Sessions for our Regional Climate Collaborative—a network that will support regional governments, organizations, and their communities to design and implement equitable climate solutions across Greater Cincinnati.

    Working Group sessions are open to the public and will be held virtually via Zoom. Anyone can join any of the following groups listed in bold below. Please use the individual registration links highlighted in green for whichever working group(s) you are interested in joining. You must register for access to the meeting Zoom link.

    **Each session has two dates/times shown. Both will feature the same content for each working group, so you only need to attend one. We're offering multiple to accommodate different schedules.** 

    Building Local Capacity Working Group: how we can increase local government staff capacity to act on climate; implement equitable climate plans, projects programs, and policies; and create workforce opportunities for the next generation of climate professionals -- including a fellowship program for local governments

    Community Listening and Engagement Working Group: how we can center community voice, experience, and expertise in climate plans, projects, programs, and policies -- especially communities of color, low-income community members, youth, and the elderly

    Elected Officials Working Group:
    how we build political will among electeds and those running for office, and support efforts at the local to state level 

    Regional Resources and Outreach Working Group: how we can raise awareness of climate impacts and solutions, and develop resources to accelerate action across the region -- including funding and a Regional Climate Action Playbook


    About the Regional Climate Collaborative

    Through our Climate Policy program, Green Umbrella is dedicated to working with regional local governments and their communities to kickstart and accelerate climate action in Greater Cincinnati. Regional Climate Collaboratives are a proven model that help communities share best practices, align local initiatives, develop opportunities for regional collaboration, and help secure funding and technical assistance to collectively address climate impacts. With this launch, Greater Cincinnati joins more than 30 other Regional Climate Collaboratives currently working to improve the quality of life in communities, resilience of infrastructure, and predictability of budgets. Green Umbrella’s Climate Policy team will act as the primary facilitator of this ongoing program and will work directly with governments, organizations, and other institutions who join as members.

    Learn more about Green Umbrella's Climate Policy program and contact our Climate Policy Director, Savannah Sullivan, with any questions: savannah@greenumbrella.org.

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Savannah Sullivan, Climate Policy Director


(Twitter: @savsullivan)

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