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Taking Inventory of 2021 and Bringing Climate Action into the New Year

As we wrap up 2021, a year that consisted of devastating fires, severe flooding and storms, record high temperatures and climate injustices in real time, we have an opportunity to set our goals and intentions for the year ahead.  Although around this time of year, with the inspiration that a new year brings, the weight of adding more goals to the agenda can feel burdensome, especially for climate justice advocates who can experience burn out.  Hence, it is critical to not just identify goals for the year ahead, but also, to take inventory of what’s working and what’s not, in order to create space for the noes along with the yeses.

It is evident that while the climate crisis is truly unfolding before our eyes, we have collectively not met the moment as a society.  The celebrated climate targets set forth by jurisdictions oftentimes are unreachable due to lack of resources or political will, and roadmaps that aim to create the just and livable future we desire tend to fall short on delivering the promises made.  As we enter a new year, we hope this is something that can be left behind in 2021.  We also look forward to greenwashing being a thing of the past, as well as policy changes that do not reflect the needs of the planet and our communities, like the recently released proposed decision regarding California’s future rooftop solar policy, net energy metering 3.0.

However, holding policy makers accountable is something we know we will be bringing into the new year.  We have seen the progress that is feasible as a result of collective efforts, and as the urgency to fight the climate crisis increases, so must our willingness to shine light on what’s working and what’s not at a local level.  Keeping in mind the work that lies ahead, let’s not forget that just 90 corporations are responsible for almost two thirds of historical greenhouse gas emissions - included in the list of companies is, of course, Big Oil. 

We’re excited to announce that in early 2022, we will be strengthening collective accountability through two new initiatives!  In the coming weeks we will be releasing the San Diego Climate Report Card, which we created in partnership with the Climate Defenders Action Fund and League of Conservation Voters San Diego, in order to hold elected officials accountable for climate action within the City of San Diego and County of San Diego.  Additionally, the San Diego Climate Hub will be launching a new initiative called the Fossil Fuel Free Pledge, which will highlight nonprofit organizations and elected officials that pledge to not accept fossil fuel donations.  Time and time again, we have seen oil and gas corporations use organizations as pawns to fight climate action and engage in greenwashing.  Keep an eye out for how your favorite nonprofit organizations and elected officials can take the pledge.

Here are some impactful goals and ideas to consider when planting intentions for the new year:

Thank you for supporting our work, whether you are part of a partner organization, coalition or an individual activist in our hometown of San Diego or across the globe.  We wish you a bright 2022 and look forward to working with you in the new year to create a more just and livable future for all.