A Puerto Rican family signals it needs help following Hurricane Maria. Photo credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
2017 was an important year. We engaged with a new Congress and a new Administration — and expanded our technical assistance work with rural utilities throughout the country. EESI made a strategic decision to re-emphasize issues with bipartisan appeal: the national security impacts of climate change and the domestic benefits of continuing climate adaptation aid to developing countries. The national security community knows that, by causing rising sea levels and more extreme weather, climate change is already affecting America’s national security. Without action, things will get worse.
Naval Sation Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world, is vulnerable to sea level rise. Photo credit: U.S. Navy, Ernest R. Scott
The Department of Defense has long recognized the national security rationale for action on climate. Legislators are also sounding the alarm. A bipartisan group of 106 Members of Congress delivered a letter to the White House in January on the urgent need to address the “risk of devastation” climate change poses to U.S. military installations and communities. This letter came on the heels of passage of The National Defense Authorization Act, the bill authorizing the annual Defense budget; Congress included climate provisions in this bill and the president signed it into law with language that explicitly named climate change as “a direct threat to the national security of the United States.”
With this momentum in place, EESI will stress national security as an important rationale for Congress to move forward on climate.
EESI and the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) have joined forces to form the Partnership for Advancing an Inclusive Rural Energy Economy. It helps rural electric cooperatives (aka co-ops) develop on-bill financing programs for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects, thereby putting more money in the pockets of households in rural communities. The Partnership’s goal is to reduce household energy costs, increase disposable income, and catalyze clean energy economic development in rural America, while improving the health of the families who live there.
Suspended sediment in the Gulf of Mexico after a storm. Photo credit: NASA Earth Observatory
It should come as no surprise that our waterways — which millions of people directly rely on for food and commerce — are in poor health. Causes of poor waterway health range from warming water temperatures to pollution and overfishing. One of the most widespread contributors are dead zones — waters unable to support life due to low oxygen levels. Over the past half century around the world, wide-ranging dead zones have increased from 50 in 1950 to more than 500 today. Dead zones heavily affect communities across the United States and around the world.
In January, Charity Navigator–America’s leading nonprofit evaluator–named EESI #1 on its list of ten “Charities Worth Watching”! Charity Navigator showcased 10 nonprofits that have earned its top Four Star rating while having budgets of under $2 million. Charity Navigator highlighted these nonprofits, arguing that they deserve more attention and should be better known: “some well-known charities are less effective than you’d think, while a number of lesser known charities are truly exceptional.”
EESI engages with policymakers to defend clean energy programs and advance win-win bipartisan solutions that urgently address climate change.
You power our work with your gift! EESI is independent and receives no Congressional funding. Help advance energy efficiency, renewable energy, better buildings, resilient infrastructure, and national security. Our work would not be possible without your support!
- Show your commitment to commonsense solutions by giving at eesi.org/donate or by mail to our new address (1020 19th St. NW, Suite 650, Washington, D.C. 20036), or through your Donor Advised Fund.
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Thank you for advancing sustainable solutions!