The time for transformative, community-led climate action is now. Are you ready to be part of the shift?
Most of us spend nearly 90% of our time in buildings. These places where we live, work, learn, and play are more than bricks and walls. They shape and support our communities and cities.
However, decades of policy and business practices have separated us in unequally resourced spaces where Black, Indigenous, People of Color have been disproportionately harmed. Those already bearing the brunt of these systems now bear the increasing burden of higher energy bills, dirtier air, increased vulnerability to power outages, flood and other climate disasters. In this harm, poorly planned and operated buildings contribute significantly.
This must change.
The Solution: Community Climate Shift
An equitable future in the U.S. requires the prioritization of community needs when we design, build, and operate the places where we collectively live, work, play, and connect. IMT and the People’s Climate Innovation Center are bringing together a coalition of local governments and communities to activate a widespread shift to ensure that communities across the country have the resources they need to protect themselves against climate change through community ownership and better buildings.
Our purpose is to activate and support a network of partners to collectively center climate justice and create processes that produce community-owned resources, power, and policymaking.
What Must Shift
IMT and the People’s Climate Innovation Center are bringing together a coalition of local governments and communities to address the climate crisis via a widespread shift. In co-creating climate solutions, we can:
Shift traditional policymaking processes to center community leadership and ownership
Dramatically improve people’s experiences in the places where the live, play and work, and increase market demand for better buildings
Build the infrastructure to produce decarbonized, healthy, resilient, and affordable buildings at scale across the U.S.
Why Shift Now
People experiencing the first and worst consequences of the climate crisis have always known what they need. Those closest to the problem understand the solutions better than anyone. However, traditional policy making has often led to false solutions because it makes assumptions about the needs and challenges these communities face.
At the same time, governments across the country are committing to ambitious climate goals that require better buildings. In January 2022, the White House Council on Environmental Quality launched the National Building Performance Standards Coalition, with more than 30 local and state governments committing to take aggressive action to work with community and regulate buildings and their impact on the environment.
Community Climate Shift is building the collaborative network to unite and resource these needs. We aim to rectify traditional, siloed processes by partnering with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) that are already engaged in deep listening in their communities and ensuring their perspectives and expertise are not only considered in the policy design and implementation process, but also given the weight and room to exist outside the world of policy. Community Climate Shift seeks to unlock the transformative solutions that emerge when communities have real input and co-governance of priorities and resources. This will require significant long-term investments from funders, and coordination with technical partners, cities, and other stakeholders.
How We Shift
Our work includes four concurrent efforts.
In places where community and government action to improve buildings is underway, we seek to identify gaps and areas of improvement to center community and strengthen, speed, and scale efforts.
In places where community and government currently operate in separate realms, we help co-create the foundations for greater collaboration, including aligning expectations and co-creating related action plans.
In places where community and government ambitions to improve buildings need help connecting the dots, we support gap analyses between community needs and climate action plans to align efforts.
We are committed to helping partners address a range of community needs such as housing affordability, financing for building improvements, greater community access to jobs and wealth, and more.
Together, we can:
Transform policymaking processes to center community needs and ownership.
We commit to shifting decades of government-led processes to center the knowledge and needs of communities experiencing first-hand the biggest impacts of climate change. Climate solutions must prioritize people on the frontline and fenceline of environmental harm.
Increase market demand for better buildings.
Smart, inclusive policies can boost demand for high-performing new buildings and wide-scale renovation of existing buildings, collectively raising the bar for what we require our buildings to do for ourselves and our communities. We commit to co-creating policies and programs that activate market demand and, at the same time, better support the integration of housing affordability, health standards, and renter protection into local climate policy.
Build the infrastructure to create climate-smart, healthy, resilient, and affordable buildings for all.
We commit to leveraging our network of partners who are pioneering comprehensive building retrofit packages; implementing building retrofits and clean energy initiatives at scale in frontline communities; unlocking utility investment in building improvements ahead of additional energy distribution infrastructure; and building pathways to ensure that workforce training and economic opportunity is prioritized for small- and People of Color-owned businesses.
Join the Shift
We invite you to join us in the transformative shift to community-lead climate action. To learn more about the project and how you might get involved, email email@example.com.