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Inside the Greenhouse is a monthly update on FCNL’s environmental advocacy and the emerging climate issues that impact our work.  

Build Back Better Act Advances with Environmental Provisions

The House passed the Build Back Better Act on Nov. 19. In a victory for climate advocates, all of the climate provisions mentioned in last month’s newsletter made it into the House version of the bill.

Beyond these measures, the $1.75 trillion bill also contains $89.44 billion for crucial agriculture and forestry programs. This includes funding for research into sustainable agriculture and to transition rural communities to renewable energy sources. One-tenth of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, largely due to methane emissions and the intensification of chemical use.

COP26 Brings Progress—and Disappointment

The United States released a slew of new climate commitments at COP26, last month’s international climate conference in Glasgow. Climate advocates view the results of the conference with a mix of triumph and disappointment.

Among the U.S. commitments were a renewed resolve to reduce emissions, a long-term strategy for climate action, the Global Methane Pledge, and the introduction of the PREPARE plan, created to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

Unfortunately, the United States did not commit to stop burning coal. Although the U.S. delegation set many goals, they are only that—goals. They are a good first step, but many advocates don’t see these commitments as being nearly ambitious enough to keep our planet well under 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Now is the time to push Congress to uphold these commitments in legislation, and take further steps.

At FCNL’s Annual Meeting 2021, 102 friends participated in climate workshops.

News and Updates

Connecting with Front Line Communities in Louisiana

Clarence Edwards, FCNL’s legislative director for energy and environment, traveled to New Orleans, LA this month to attend a retreat with the Pricing Carbon Initiative. He visited areas impacted by environmental injustice, including neighborhoods that were divided by highways and communities suffering under the negative health effects of gas flaring by refineries and petrochemical plants.

Gas flaring at the Shell Norco Refinery and Petrochemical plant in Louisiana. Gas flaring contributes to negative health impacts on frontline and fenceline communities.
Clarence Edwards
FCNL’s 2021 Annual Meeting Brings Climate Advocates Together

Over 700 people participated in FCNL’s Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute, held virtually from Nov. 17-21. Of those, more than 100 friends joined workshops related to our work in the sustainable energy and environment program!

Clarence and I discussed our current advocacy efforts as well as the areas we will be focusing on in 2022. You can view highlights from Annual Meeting here, and watch my speech here. I discussed how science fiction can enable readers to envision a more just world.

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What We’re Reading
Rosalie Ruetz

Rosalie Ruetz

Program Assistant, Sustainable Energy and Environment (2021-2022)
Rosalie Ruetz is the program assistant for sustainable energy and environment.