At a Glance
Climate Justice/Energy Equity
Sage Kime developed recommendations for equity practices and community engagement strategies for Harris County’s forthcoming Office of Sustainability and Climate Justice Action Plan.
Harris County, the third largest county in the U.S., is faced with climate change impacts such as extreme weather events and subsequent flooding. Due to systemic racial and social inequity, the County’s low-income communities and communities of color are more vulnerable to these impacts than others. Aiming to address this disparity, Harris County brought on Sage Kime to lay the groundwork for a Climate Justice Action Plan centered in equity and community needs.
To develop recommendations for equitable climate action planning, Sage used the following approach:
- Conduct interviews with local governments: To gain insight into climate action planning, Sage conducted interviews with representatives from several jurisdictions. From these interviews, Sage was able to compile best practices and lessons learned.
- Identify strategies and resources for a successful Climate Justice Action Plan (CJAP): To streamline the process of CJAP development, Sage recommended a specific development structure which includes a Steering Committee, Advisory Groups, and an Equity Working Group. Sage also identified a local government sustainability network and vulnerability indices as important resources.
- Develop resources and processes for equitable climate action planning: After reviewing best practices and successful Climate Action Plans (CAP), Sage developed an equity toolkit and community engagement strategies for Harris County to use during the Climate Justice Action Plan development process.
Sage’s work will be used as recommendations for the Harris County Office of Sustainability for future climate action planning. Using an Equity Tool to screen proposed climate action strategies and prioritizing community engagement will ensure the County is making the most impactful and just decisions for the communities most vulnerable to climate change. The recommended equity practices and engagement methods will allow Harris County to develop a successful Climate Justice Action Plan that offers equitable and community-based climate strategies.