WASHINGTON – The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the leading research and public policy institution focusing on issues of concern to African Americans and other people of color, has been granted Civil Society Observer Status for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) that will convene next week in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Joint Center delegation to the conference will include six members of its Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change and three staff members, and will be led by Carolyn L. Green, Managing Partner, EnerGreen Capital Management, LLC based in Philadelphia. Other Commission members on the delegation are Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Clark Atlanta University; Leslie G. Fields, Esq., Sierra Club; Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Bennett College for Women; Frank M. Stewart, American Association of Blacks in Energy; and Dr. Beverly Wright, Dillard University.
Through its Commission, the Joint Center seeks to ensure that the concerns of minority communities are represented in the debate over climate change mitigation initiatives. The Commission’s goals are centered on reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions and shifting toward a clean energy economy, while minimizing adverse economic impacts of new regulations on vulnerable communities.
“We are hopeful that our participation in this important conference will lead to a wider understanding that a majority of African Americans want to see climate change addressed and reversed,” said Ralph B. Everett, President and CEO of the Joint Center. “At the same time, it is vital that our international partners also recognize the concerns among minority populations everywhere regarding how this is going to be done. We need to ensure there are diverse voices at all forums where decisions are made so that the benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy are broadly shared and appreciated.”
It is expected that the agreements reached in Copenhagen, where the Obama Administration will have its first opportunity to assert U.S. leadership on global climate issues, will substantially affect the direction of the climate change legislation under consideration by the U.S. Congress.
“The re-emergence of American leadership on climate change in Copenhagen will be an excellent opportunity to elevate the concerns of African Americans in the global warming debate as we draw closer to Congressional action,” said Green. “As a respected body holding close relationships with members of Congress and Administration officials, the Joint Center’s Climate Change Commission is uniquely positioned to do this, and we plan to advance our key policy principles with respect to climate change and communities of color.”
The Joint Center delegation expects to produce a series of written products, to include contemporaneous media communications and a final status report with respect to the Copenhagen conference, to inform the Commission’s ongoing policy and outreach work.
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is one of the nation’s leading research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses primarily on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color. The Joint Center will mark its 40th Anniversary of service in 2010. To learn more, please visit www.jointcenter.org.