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Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience

by Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Danielle Summer 2019 Development and Policy Intern
Danielle Summer 2019 Development and Policy Intern

This summer, EESI had five fantastic interns, who all brought so much to our office. YOU helped to make these opportunities possible, and for our work to expand with these young, creative minds.

One of our development and policy interns, Danielle (pictured above), recaps her experience below: 

“Working for the Environmental and Energy Study Institute this summer has been such a life-changing experience. I came into this internship with excitement to learn more about environmental issues and what happens behind the scenes of a successful nonprofit. I am leaving with so many new ideas, friends, and a greater responsibility to better the planet. I have had the opportunity to contribute to grant proposals and reports, attend our briefings and our 2019 Clean Energy EXPO on Capitol Hill, and contact donors!

My first day was unlike any other, but in the best way. I was immediately greeted with the utmost kindness by everyone in the office, and was able to attend one of our briefings and sit in on a conference call. I knew I would learn so much over the summer and was so excited to jump right in! A favorite moment from that day was how the speakers at the briefing acknowledged my hard work, and were surprised when I mentioned it was my first day on the job. My confidence in myself grew that day, and I have continued to learn more about myself and my abilities this summer.  

Another favorite moment from this summer was discovering we have a monthly donor from my hometown! I reached out and wrote a postcard to this donor and, happily, I received an excited response in return; this donor was amazed to hear that someone from his hometown was at EESI (far from home--I’m from Utah!). Making those connections and showing that EESI is an organization run by people who are dedicated to furthering climate solutions has been such a fulfilling task this summer.  

Thank you to all of our amazing donors who help make these experiences happen for young adults like myself, and for helping to impact our lives in the most positive of ways! I will always cherish this time I have spent at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, and am excited to let others experience time here as well, thanks to YOU!” 

Please give again today to continue providing these wonderful experiences for more interns to come! Your ongoing support is crucial in making our work possible, and to keep all of those informed on environmental and energy solutions!

EESI Briefing: Energy Efficiency Jobs
EESI Briefing: Energy Efficiency Jobs
Four of the five summer interns
Four of the five summer interns
EESI Briefing: Energy Efficiency Jobs Panel
EESI Briefing: Energy Efficiency Jobs Panel
Four of the five summer interns at a briefing
Four of the five summer interns at a briefing

Links:

Girl Walking Through Flood
Girl Walking Through Flood

This spring, another powerful EESI briefing highlighted the positive public opinion trends on climate change. YOU helped make this briefing possible--sharing these important insights with policymakers and the public.

EESI invited Yale Professor, Dr. Tony Leiserowitz, to share his research findings. He informed the audience of Congressional staff and others in the policy community that a record number of Americans-- 73 percent based on a December 2018 poll--acknowledge that climate change is happening. Sixty-eight percent understand that it is human-caused. And an increasing number agree that something must be done about it!  

 Check out this video interview with Dr. Leiserowitz that you helped make possible for a brief summary of the findings discussed at the briefing!

We're seeing a big uptick in public concern about climate change within both major parties! The Democratic party has long accepted the reality of climate change, and now sees its members and policymakers highlighting climate as a key priority for Members of Congress and many of the Democratic candidates for the presidency.

Republicans, including conservative Republicans, meanwhile, are increasingly likely to acknowledge that climate change is happening and that it is human-caused. 80 percent of conservative Republicans support federal investment in renewable energy research, up from 50 percent in 2013!

More Americans are engaged with the issue of climate change more than ever; due to their social connections, intensifying media coverage, and, sadly, increasingly visible climate impacts.

Record-setting extreme weather events--such as massive fires, hurricanes, and extreme flooding--happening across the nation are alarming those who did not accept the threat of climate change before.

Yale’s data visualization site, Yale Climate Opinion Maps, show climate change perceptions and support for renewable energy across the United States.

Substantial majorities in every single Congressional district think that climate change will harm future generations, and huge majorities in every single district support climate actions like funding renewable energy research.

Despite these new findings, relatively few Americans realize that climate change is already affecting them personally.

Please give again today to continue making these efforts possible! With your help, we can keep all those informed, and spread the awareness of the effects of climate change!

 

EESI Briefing Climate Change in the American Mind
EESI Briefing Climate Change in the American Mind
Wind Turbines
Wind Turbines
Bike Sharing in Barcelona
Bike Sharing in Barcelona
Trees by Ian Matyssik
Trees by Ian Matyssik

Links:

YOU are Funding Key Resilience Strategies!

YOU are making a difference. Your philanthropy to EESI has furthered engagement with the new Congress, which includes a whopping 101 new lawmakers! Thanks to your support, we are able to renew our engagement on federal resilience and adaptation so far in 2019.

EESI has been ranked a Top Rated Nonprofit by Great NonProfits (for the eighth year in a row!) and was recognized by TheStreet in 30 Charities That Won’t Waste Your Money! So you can be sure that your gifts are going to good use!

This year we will be focusing our energy on climate-resilient infrastructure (both natural and built): what works, what doesn’t, and how we can move forward policies that reduce our vulnerability to climate impacts, while often also mitigating climate change!

Resilient infrastructure is a key component in helping communities become more resilient to climate impacts.

As devastating storms in recent years have shown, we must modify our buildings and infrastructure to withstand more extreme weather, sea-level rise, flooding, and other 'new normals,' as well as make our natural systems more resilient to climate change.

With your continued giving, we are working to incorporate key resilience strategies into federal policy to strengthen communities against disasters and climate impacts overall!

Improving home insulation, roofing, and weatherizing homes are only a few of the many strategies for improving resilience.

On a broader scale, instituting minimum standards for building codes, risk-based pricing of insurance, and increased funding for weather satellites and remote sensing—so local officials can be as informed as possible are especially important for resilient infrastructure.

Nature is also important for increasing resilience. When natural systems are resilient, they can mitigate damage and protect lives and property from disaster, while also providing habitats for wildlife. For example, mangroves are extremely important for coastal resilience as they act as natural wind and wave breakers, protect against soil erosion, sequester carbon, and house diverse ecosystems!

Other strategies include creating artificial reefs for oysters to act as breakwaters, using regenerative agricultural practices to restore soil biodiversity, and planting more trees in cities to reduce the urban heat island effect.

People like you are critical to making sure policymakers know what resilience looks like and how we can foster it, as one of many sensible solutions to climate change.

Thank you for prioritizing ways to move forward with solutions to climate change!

Federal policy plays a critical role in shaping resilience efforts at all levels of government. While it’s not making the headlines, Congress actually did make progress with resilience last year—but there is more to do this year! With your renewed support, EESI will be there to offer advice and information and will continue to promote policy solutions that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.

We need to continue engaging on various aspects of resilience—flood insurance reform, stronger building codes, built and natural infrastructure, grid modernization and smart grid development—to advance resilient infrastructure policy that makes a real difference to communities, especially our most vulnerable ones.

Your giving makes a difference—thank you for giving again!

Links:

Major flooding in N. Carolina (Liz Roll-FEMA)
Major flooding in N. Carolina (Liz Roll-FEMA)

It’s not making the headlines, but your generosity to EESI is making a difference: Congress is actually embracing more resilient solutions! Most recently, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by the president.

Thanks to your commitment, EESI and a wide variety of advocates worked to advance DRRA. The new law makes major improvements, enhancing community resilience!

As part of a greater focus on mitigation, it contains reforms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to increase the availability of “pre-disaster mitigation” (PDM) grants to help communities better withstand future disasters. It establishes a set-aside of disaster-relief funds into a National Public Infrastructure PDM Fund.

It also creates incentives for communities to adopt and enforce modern building codes that incorporate hazard-resilient design standards and it removes financial barriers for rebuilding in areas less vulnerable to the impact of natural disasters.

“In passing this bill, Congress has taken a major step forward in disaster preparedness. EESI applauds this bicameral, bipartisan effort that recognizes the value of investing in mitigation and smart rebuilding as a common-sense alternative to spending billions for post-disaster rebuilding only to have it destroyed by the next storm,” said EESI Executive Director Carol Werner.

Investing in mitigation is very important now that climate change is increasing the intensity and impact of extreme weather events, as Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and the California wildfires have shown just this fall.

There is so much more to do as we head toward the new Congress in January — Congressional offices are already asking for ideas and input.

With your renewed support, EESI will be there to offer advice and information and will continue to promote policy solutions that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. Because YOU are prioritizing ways to move forward towards a clean energy and resilient future, we plan to hold additional briefings in our series on Building Secure and Resilient Infrastructure.

Federal action plays a critical role in shaping resilience efforts at all levels of government.

We need to continue engaging on various aspects of resilience—flood insurance reform, stronger building codes, built and natural infrastructure, grid modernization and smart grid development—to advance resilience policy that makes a real difference to communities! 

Your support to EESI makes a difference!

High water (Florida National Guard, Ching Oettel)
High water (Florida National Guard, Ching Oettel)
(Louisiana National Guard, Sgt. Rashawn D. Price)
(Louisiana National Guard, Sgt. Rashawn D. Price)
(New York Air National Guard, Sgt. C. Muncy)
(New York Air National Guard, Sgt. C. Muncy)
EESI Briefing on the Hill in October 2018 (EESI)
EESI Briefing on the Hill in October 2018 (EESI)
Thank you for your support! Happy holidays!
Thank you for your support! Happy holidays!

Links:

Credit: U.S. Coast Guard, Lisa Ferdinando
Credit: U.S. Coast Guard, Lisa Ferdinando

When Harvard Medical School published its report estimating the death count from Hurricane Maria, there was an uproar: researchers put Puerto Rico’s death toll at more than 4,600—72 times the then-official count of 64. If the Harvard estimate is accurate, the storm was the costliest in lives lost in over a century for the United States.

The study confirmed what those on the ground knew: the hurricane's terrible devastation—causing $90 billion in damage—was followed by an inexcusably slow response, resulting in more deaths long after the storm had passed. Indeed, the report estimated that over a third of the deaths (more than 1,500) occurred during the recovery, as a result of the island’s lack of power, when life-saving appliances and air conditioning units could not operate.

We must work together to prevent such devastation as the result of extreme weather again. Greater resilience is key. Thanks to YOU, EESI is holding a briefing series on Building Resilient and Secure Infrastructure. You are helping to showcase best practices from states and communities across the country to inform policymakers and stakeholders about what's working (and what’s not). You make a difference!

Thanks to your committed actions, EESI’s panels, factsheets, and work in coalition all help us move toward the goal of long-term energy reliability and resilience. This will help ensure economic development, public health and safety, national security, fiscal responsibility, enhanced equity, jobs, and quality of life – all possible because of YOU so please renew your support today.

Hurricane Maria conjures memories of Katrina in New Orleans. It confirms that when disasters strike in areas affected by chronic disinvestment, the impacts can be apocalyptic. This is all the more troubling as climate change is already increasing the severity and frequency of extreme weather.

In Puerto Rico, we are seeing glimpses of the future of energy in its hospitals, community centers, and schools. Microgrids, smart grids, and solar-plus-storage systems can provide resilient power to key buildings and even to entire municipalities. Besides reducing the cost of electricity to users, these technologies and systems reduce dependence on the electric grid. This increased self-reliance is especially valuable when the grid fails—such as during hurricanes, wildfires, or other natural disasters!

That’s why Puerto Rico’s Energy Commission has recommended investing in community solar projects—something made easier with our recommended On-Bill Financing approach, which removes the need for upfront financing by households.

Please renew your gift today and help us to keep showcasing sensible and resilient solutions - with your continued support through GlobalGiving! Through your efforts we can make sure that life-saving appliances can operate quickly again after a storm! Donors like YOU help us engage with policymakers to find bipartisan and win-win solutions that advance resilience. Together we can make a difference! Thank you!

Municipality of Loiza. Credit: FEMA, Yuisa Rios
Municipality of Loiza. Credit: FEMA, Yuisa Rios
Emergency supplies. Credit: FEMA, Yuisa Rios
Emergency supplies. Credit: FEMA, Yuisa Rios
EESI Executive Director Carol Werner
EESI Executive Director Carol Werner
A shelter in Vieques. Credit: FEMA, Andrea Booher
A shelter in Vieques. Credit: FEMA, Andrea Booher

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @eesionline
Project Leader:
Carol Werner
Executive Director, EESI
Washington, DC United States
$89,882 raised of $99,000 goal
 
1,189 donations
$9,118 to go
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