American Climate Futures is a national initiative to ensure the needs and voices of those most impacted by climate change in the US are at the forefront of goal-setting, planning, and solutions development — while also challenging, and accelerating the process of addressing, the systemic inequalities that got us here in the first place.

The Challenge

Our response to climate change must be socially just. 

In the US, low-income, Black, Indigenous and people of color are disproportionately impacted by climate change, facing higher mortality, food insecurity, and economic hardship. This is projected to worsen as increased exposure to environmental risks intersects with existing systemic injustice. 

Advocates in historically excluded communities have fought for decades for their right to a safe and healthy environment and have elevated the need for climate justice at a national scale. And yet, they are often excluded from critical policy and funding decisions. Each year, billions of dollars are invested in US climate solutions, but they do not necessarily reflect the priorities and concerns of those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, a gap highlighted in the latest IPCC Report.  

Collaborative, credible, and socially and economically just solutions to address the climate crisis are urgently needed to ensure all communities have the opportunity to thrive in a climate-changing world.

Climate justice as both a process and an outcome

Addressing climate injustice requires radical collaboration across sectors and a new way of approaching climate solutions to ensure that they are centered around the needs of affected communities. It requires listening, building trust, bringing community voices to the table at the beginning of the planning and design processes, setting policy and business decisions that are reflective of community needs, providing training and needed services, holding ourselves accountable to collaborative and decentralized decision-making processes, and supporting community ownership models. 

What if we could enable radical collaboration across sectors and lived experiences to design 

  • tech solutions that support the health, economic and security challenges of the most vulnerable communities?
  • decarbonization solutions that honor Indigenous knowledge and ensure Indigenous land rights are recognized and secured?
  • infrastructure and policies that provide equitable access to renewable energy, healthy transportation, and affordable housing?

We need new, radical and just responses to the climate crisis that ensure communities most impacted are thriving – today and in the future. 

About American Climate Futures

American Climate Futures is a national program that aims to ensure the needs and voices of those most impacted by climate change in the US are at the forefront of future goal-setting, planning, and solutions development — while also challenging the systemic inequalities that got us here in the first place. 

2022 - Phase I: Foundation setting (In progress)

Forum is facilitating a process of system mapping and collaborative diagnosis involving national and regional organizations, including civil society, front-line communities, private sector, and policy-makers. The aim of this work is to better understand the barriers to climate justice in the US, identify both the enabling conditions for change and the scalable solutions that already exist, highlight the gaps that call for new ideas, and identify what’s needed to drive socially just and environmentally sound responses to the climate crisis.   

2023 - Phase II: Collaborative intervention(s) at community and/or national level 

Together with implementation partners, we will work locally in communities and/or nationally to enable radical collaboration across sectors and lived experiences, to jointly develop shared visions and possible pathways for equitable and socially just responses to the climate crisis in the US.

Storytelling and amplifying historically excluded voices

Throughout this initiative, we are keen to share what we are learning and amplifying stories of change.. We will be sharing insights from the collaboration, spotlighting potential solutions to tackle the barriers we've identified, and providing a platform for lesser heard voices and stories of change.

We invite you to join us!

Join a diverse and committed group of change-makers across the United States to learn from each other, collectively identify the entrenched barriers to climate justice, and co-design a community-centered, system-wide approach to a just and transformational response to the climate crisis. 

Join us for this systemic inquiry as we: 

  • develop a comprehensive map of climate justice efforts in the US today, including what’s missing and what’s impactful and can be scaled up; 
  • identify, and begin to address, barriers to meaningful collaboration across sectors, and between policy makers, civil society and local communities; 
  • build a community of partners and supporters;
  • spark cultural change – including shifts in mindsets, values and behaviors – to support lasting collaboration and solutions.

We are looking for program partners, funders, and collaborators, and invite you to reach out if you are interested in learning more about this work and how you can get involved. Please contact  Ksenia Benifand for more information.

Get in touch 

Who’s involved