Berkeley Climate Action Coalition

The Berkeley Climate Action Coalition (BCAC) is a strong and growing network of local organizations and community members joining together to help implement the City of Berkeley’s ambitious, forty-year Climate Action Plan. We include residents, non-profits, the City of Berkeley, neighborhood groups, faith based organizations, schools, businesses, UC Berkeley, and others!

The BCAC initiates projects that address climate change on a wide variety of issues — energy, water, food, waste, the built environment, and transit. We are working toward a future that includes clean air and water, energy efficient housing, and food, energy and transportation that is local, affordable, accessible and safe.

Learn more about the intersection of climate change, social justice, and local action in this video, created by members of the Coalition:

The Berkeley Climate Coalition is organized around several Working Groups, each dedicated to carrying out an action that aligns with the Climate Action Plan. Projects include:

  • Electrification of Buildings and Homes
  • Environmental Health

We also welcome members to start their own working groups. To learn more about starting your own group contact coalition cofacilitator Rebecca Milliken at RMilliken@cityofberkeley.info.

GET INVOLVED

Participation in the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition is open, and we welcome all who would like to contribute to the implementation of the Climate Action Plan.

We welcome all members at whatever level of involvement they can sustain. Generally, members stay up to date and aware of Coalition activities, and participate in quarterly meetings or calls. They have access to the listserv and digital resources. They offer support with occasional advising, specific skills, and other resources as available.

Members are also welcomed and encouraged to join or found a working group, aimed at carrying out at least one action from the Berkeley Climate Action Plan.

To join the Berkeley Climate Coalition or get involved with one of the Working Groups, contact:

Rebecca Milliken
City of Berkeley, Office of Energy and Sustainable Development
Phone: (510) 981-7021
Email:  RMilliken@cityofberkeley.info

BERKELEY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

In 2006, Berkeley voters overwhelmingly endorsed Measure G, a ballot measure that mandated that Berkeley reduce our entire community’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 2000 levels by 2050. The ballot measure directed the City to develop a Climate Action Plan to achieve that target. After a lengthy community planning process, the Berkeley City Council adopted the final plan on June 2, 2009.

The plan is designed to reduce community wide greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050. The vision for Berkeley is a bold one:

  • New and existing Berkeley buildings achieve zero net energy consumption
  • Public transit, walking, cycling, and other sustainable mobility modes are the primary means of transportation for Berkeley residents and visitors
  • Zero waste is sent to landfills
  • The majority of food consumed in Berkeley is produced locally
  • Our community is resilient and prepared for the impacts of global warming
  • The social and economic benefits of the climate protection effort are shared across the community

Read the Berkeley Climate Action Plan’s Executive Summary and Full Report on the City of Berkeley’s website.

WORKING GROUP: ELECTRIFICATION

The Electrification Working Group (EWG) is focused on facilitating the electrification of homes. Buildings in California represent 20-25% of the state’s total GHG emissions, and natural gas use in buildings represents 10% of total state GHG emissions. The EWG goal is to help reduce these emissions by raising public awareness of electrification, providing the information and resources homeowners need to transition from natural gas to electric appliances, and advocating for legislative and regulatory changes that support electrification.

To get involved, contact: Tom Graly at tgraly@gmail.com.

WORKING GROUP: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

The Environmental Health Working Group will focus on addressing and mitigating the health implications of climate change that affect the local community through education and advocacy.  We hope to improve physical and mental health through initiatives that will raise awareness of the intersection between environmental factors and human and planetary health.

To get involved, contact: Raj Fadadu rajfadadu@berkeley.edu

CLIMATE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

BERKELEY CLIMATE ACTION COALITION WORKING GROUPS

Climate Volunteer Opportunities Directory PDF

Berkeley Climate Action Coalition (BCAC) – Electrification
Motivate the public to move toward all-electric appliances and away from natural gas dependence, in order to dramatically reduce residential GHG footprint and maximize impact of clean community choice electricity (CCEs).

  •  Involvement: Provide outreach and education on how electrification works, why it’s a solid climate strategy, and all the ways people can do it. Create outreach materials, physical and digital. Plan events including home tours, tool demos, support a City-sponsored electrification expo, etc.
  • Commitment: 2 hours/month
  • Meetings: Monthly, date TBD
  •  Contact: tgraly@gmail.com

Berkeley Climate Action Coalition (BCAC) – Environmental Health
Motivate community to address and mitigate health implications of climate change through education and advocacy. Work to improve physical and mental health through initiatives that raise awareness of the intersection between environmental factors and human and planetary health.

  • Involvement: Support educational events, including webinars; solid waste advocacy and projects; planting projects; tabling, and more. Develop outreach materials and strategies.
  • Commitment: 2 hours/month
  • Meetings: Monthly, date TBD
  • Contact: Raj Fadadu envhealthworkinggroup@gmail.com

 

EAST BAY/ BAY AREA 

350 East Bay & 350 East Bay Berkeley Hub
(part of regional 350 Bay Area)
Building a grassroots climate movement in the Bay Area and beyond that achieves deep reductions in carbon pollutions and presses for socially equitable solutions.

  •  Campaigns and volunteer action areas: Clean Energy, Divestment, Fossil Fuel Resistance, Stop the Money Pipeline, State & Local Legislative, Letter Writing, Speakers Bureau; Transportation, ‘Coalition-building for Climate Justice, Social Media and Communications, public education on climate. Berkeley and Oakland “City Hubs” working on city-specific climate policies, with local hub meetings and actions for volunteers to get involved with
  • Commitment: flexible
  •  Contact: 350EastBay@350bayarea.org, Kathy Dervin dervin.kathy@gmail.com 

Alameda Interfaith Climate Action Network
Engage, educate and encourage Alameda County congregations to respond strongly to environmental degradation and spiritual wounding caused by the fossil fuel industry. Address environmental injustice and inequity.

  •  Involvement: Encourage Alameda County to move quickly to 100% renewable local energy. Attend hearings and planning meetings that address injustices resulting from climate chaos. Encourage local and state legislators to adopt effective strategies for mitigation and adaptation. Participate in programs within congregations that connect faith and climate action. This is a great way to get to know folks in a wide array of faith communities who are concerned about and working to dial back climate change.
  •  Commitment: flexible
  •  Contact: francesaubrey@earthlink.net

 

Albany Climate Action Coalition
Help us educate the public and lobby city government to promote local policies that address climate change, promote smart urban planning, and environmental justice.  Be at the forefront of progressive change in your own community.

  •  Project(s): voter turnout, utility tax campaign, promoting city policies and council candidates that support Albany’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.
  •  Commitment: 2 hours/ week 
  •  Contact: Nick Peterson <nickpetersonarchitect@gmail.com> 

 

Ashby Community Garden/ We Bee Gardeners
Support and engage South Berkeley community efforts to grow food and cut out the “middleman,” independent of city programs.

  •  Involvement: Assist with maintaining the garden, facilitate growing food year-round, and help with community events. Ashby Community Garden is open limited hours, depending on members’ schedules. Open to Public, Sundays, 1pm-3pm.
  •  Commitment: flexible
  •  Contact: webeegardeners@gmail.com, bcb@bborucki.com, rachelhaight@hotmail.com

 

Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) Sustainability
Support a more sustainable Berkeley Unified School District.

  •  Involvement: Help lead waste reduction activities in local schools, including presentations, and help with classroom waste audits.
  •  Commitment: 1-3 hours/ week
  •  Contact: sustainability@berkeley.net

 

Bike East Bay
Promote healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, fun and accessible.

 

CA Interfaith Power and Light
Empower communities and individuals to be faithful stewards of creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

  •  Involvement: Writing/ research around CA state bills regarding climate change; engaging members to get involved; Education around Community Choice Energy (CCAs). This is a great way to get to know folks in a wide array of faith communities who are concerned and working to dial back climate change.
  •  Commitment: flexible
  • Contact: liore@interfaithpower.org

 

Center for Biological Diversity
Take action in your community, build political power by connecting with others, and develop your skills as an agent of change. 

  •  Project(s): Myriad of local, state federal issues including stopping onshore + offshore drilling, protecting wildlife, fighting for clean energy, and keeping tar sands + coal out of the Bay Area. 
  •  Skills: People of all levels are welcome. Training provided. 
  •  Commitment: Varies – tailored to your availability + passion.
  •  Contact: alauth@biologicaldiversity.org

 

Citizens Climate Lobby, Alameda County
Empower everyday people across more than 400 local chapters across the US to work together to build support in Congress for a national bipartisan solution to climate change. 

  • Project(s): Carbon fee and dividend legislation in Congress; Community outreach. 
  •  Skills: 1) Lobbying (speaking in a group with members of Congress and their staff about climate change solutions; training provided); 2) Writing letters to the editor (average writing ability, help provided); 3) Outreach (preparing and delivering presentations, organizing virtual social events) 
  •  Commitment: flexible 
  •  Meetings: 6:30pm New Member Orientation, 7:00-9:00 pm meeting every third Monday. (On Zoom) Interactive meeting activities include: paired speaking practice on climate issues; breakout working groups on lobbying, outreach, media; etc. 
  •  Contact: oak2acorns@yahoo.com or alamedacounty@citizensclimatelobby.org 

 

The Climate Mobilization
TCM is building power for a national transformation that rapidly restores a safe climate and creates a just and democratic society. 

 

Communities for a Better Environment
Build people power in low-income communities of color blighted with pollution and provide them with technical organizing, legal, research and scientific expertise. 

  •  Projects: support with COVID19 response fund;  new campaign #BeyondChevron to decommission the Chevron refinery in Richmond and eventually refineries in CA and beyond. 
  •  Commitment: flexible; but, 10 hours/ week is desirable 
  •  Meetings: Richmond or Oakland 
  •  Contact: zolboo@cbecal.org 

 

East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
Provide cleaner power at competitive rates that benefit the community of Alameda County. 

  •  Project(s): Friends of EBCE – Provide outreach at community events around the county. Volunteers will be trained via a one hour webinar on EBCE’s services and paired with staff. 
  •  Commitment: flexible; list of upcoming events at https://ebce.org/news-and-events/
  •  Contact: jcortez@ebce.org   

 

Energy Democracy National Tour (by Local Clean Energy Alliance)
Shift the narrative toward one of positive and effective solutions led by local communities, taking the work in their own hands to build a cleaner and more equitable future. 

  •  Skills & projects: User Experience design for a resource exchange tool for community ownership of energy ; Copy editing for the People’s Utility Justice Playbook; Admin/communication support for the national online strategic convening of local community leaders; Media outreach (press and/or social media) to amplify stories from coast to coast. 
  •  Commitment: 2-10 hours/week depending on availability 
  •  Contact: crystal@thexpollinators.com 

 

Fossil Free California
Works to end financial support for climate-damaging fossil fuels (via divestment by pension funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions) and promote a just transition to a low-carbon economy. 

  •  Specific Project(s): Divest CalPERS & CalSTRS; Move your Money (banks, personal investments) 
  •  Skills: Seeking CalPERS, CalSTRS or union members interested in municipal divestment resolutions; Website support and data entry; Organizer for upcoming CalPERS or CalSTRS meetings (rally and public comments) 
  •  Commitment: Few hours/ month; more hours welcome 
  •  Meetings: team meetings by Zoom weekly or bi-weekly; very active Slack workspace
  •  Contact:  sandy@fossilfreeca.org; miriam@fossilfreeca.org

 

Friends of Five Creeks
Mobilize volunteers of all ages to restore, maintain, and enjoy creeks, watersheds, and urban nature. 

  •  Project(s): Due to COVID-19, large work parties, walks, and talks are on hold. However, volunteers can still work on several outdoors projects including “adopting” your own site. Opportunities also are available for folks with special skills, from monitoring and mapping to outreach, social media, photography, and graphic design
  •  Commitment: Flexible. 
  •  Contact: f5creeks@gmail.com  

 

Local Clean Energy Alliance
Promote the development and democratization of local renewable energy resources as key to addressing climate change, advancing social and racial justice, and building sustainable and resilient communities. 

  •  Project(s): Advocacy for local clean energy projects in Alameda County via the East Bay Clean Power Alliance and statewide California Alliance for Community Energy (community choice energy). 
  •  Skills for general membership: No skills required. 
  •  Skills for working directly on projects: Administrative skills like email/phone correspondence,  data entry, and processing reimbursements; Fundraising/ Grant Support; Outreach/ Education to organizations and individuals; Event planning and preparation; Recruitment and outreach.
  •  Commitment: Varies per project, 1 – 6 hours/ week as available 
  •  Meetings: Weekly Tuesday staff meeting 2:30-4pm; whole organization meets once/ month 
  •  Contact: barbara@localcleanenergy.org 

 

NorCal Resilience Network
Promote a just transition to an equitable and regenerative future by supporting and activating community-based and ecological solutions in Northern California.

  •  Involvement: Support Resilient Hubs Initiative ( scale up home and neighborhood resilience) ; Partner with various community gardens and farms hosting hands-on volunteer activities.
  •  Skills: Gardening (at various sites); Communication (writing, photo and video for website update); Internet research
  •  Commitment: a few hours / week or month as available
  •  Meetings: TBD. Check calendar at https://www.norcalresilience.org/
  •  Contact: info@norcalresilience.org

 

Oakland Climate Action Coalition (OCAC)

The Oakland Climate Action Coalition (OCAC) is a cross-sector coalition dedicated to racial and economic justice that engages Oakland residents in creating and implementing climate solutions that strengthen the environmental, economic, and social resilience of frontline communities.

 

  • Meetings and contact: There are no regular meetings that are open to the public at this time, so the best way to connect would be to contact Colin Miller @colinoaklandclimateaction@gmail.com 

 

SF Bay PHysicians for Social Responsibility
SF Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility works to protect human life from the gravest threats to health and survival. Consequently, we promote public policies that protect human health from the threats of nuclear war and other weapons of mass destruction, global environmental degradation, climate change, the epidemic of gun violence, and other societal injustices.

  •  Involvement/Projects: Supporting SFB PSR’s organizing, advocacy, and communications by tracking pertinent legislative developments, helping build stronger partnerships with partner organizations inside and outside of the health professions, doing research on important environmental issues, writing articles, op-eds, and letters to the editor, assisting with our donor campaigns, etc..
  •  Commitment: Flexible. Most of SFB PSR advocacy, organizing and communication work takes place M-F, 9-5.

 Contact: info@sfbaypsr.org 

Sunflower Alliance
The Sunflower Alliance consists of grassroots individuals and organizations committed to environmental justice and the health and safety of San Francisco Bay Area communities threatened by toxic pollution and climate disruption. 

  •  Project(s): Resistance to fossil fuel infrastructure expansion in the refinery corridor; Richmond/San Pablo AB 617– Air monitoring and air pollution reduction in communities heavily impacted by polluting industry;  No Drilling in Brentwood– Stopping oil and gas drilling in East Contra Costa County; Ongoing involvement with rulemaking at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District– research, analysis, and community mobilization; Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force. 
  • Upcoming events: Virtual Summit: A Bay Area Free of Fossil Fuel Infrastructure, August 28, 9–1:00; cemtf.org
  •  Skills: website management, social media outreach, online graphics; research  
  •  Meetings: Zoom, every ~3 weeks 1–3 pm on Sunday. Email action@sunflower-alliance.org for the link.
  •  Sign up for weekly emails of a list of Bay Area climate and social justice events:  www.sunflower-alliance.org.
  •  Contact: action@sunflower-alliance.org 

 

Transition Berkeley
Bringing neighbors together to build a more equitable, sustainable, resilient future for Berkeley. We envision a strong, diverse local economy with greatly reduced dependence on fossil fuels, and a healthy, cooperative rewarding community life.

  •  Involvement: Repair Cafes and Repair Training event planning and volunteering (for virtual events/trainings), Community Pollinator Garden Planting project volunteering (in-person opportunities), Local Climate Action advocacy (for Climate Equity Fund measure on November ballot). Volunteers needed for  community outreach, communication support, hands-on planting and more!

Educational Events outreach & publicity, Crop and Neighborhood Swapping (presently on hiatus due to COVID19)

 

UC Gill Tract Community Farm
Committed to food justice and organic urban farming based on agroecological principles aims to develop solutions to social, environmental, and economic injustices. 

  •  Skills: Farming, including planting, bed preparation, mulching, harvesting, irrigation, integrated pest management, data entry, outreach, research, etc. (no prior experience necessary) 
  •  Contact: In order to work at the farm, you must email volunteers@gilltractfarm.org beforehand to get trained. Reach out and let them know what days you are available to get trained and work!  

 

1000 Grandmothers
We are elder women who care about seven generations forward. We work on climate issues and climate justice. 

  •  Activities: Looking to connect and collaborate with other organizations; build our base of Grandmothers to attend rallies and work on upcoming projects. 
  •  Commitment: As needed; put out calls for action around Bay Area 
  •  Contact: nfeinst@gmail.com  

 

Last updated: August 2020

This list was created by Lauren McCormack, an intern with Citizens’ Climate Lobby – Alameda Chapter, with support from Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Dr. Lee Ballance, the Berkeley Ecology Center, and members of the Berkeley Climate Action Coaliltion’s Environmental Health Working Group. 

MORE ABOUT THE COALITION

Formed in the spring of 2012, the Coalition is convened by the Ecology Center and the City of Berkeley. The Ecology Center works closely with the City of Berkeley’s Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, and an array of organizations and individuals who make up the Coalition’s membership.

To learn about the Coalition governance structure, contact:

Rebecca Milliken
City of Berkeley, Office of Energy and Sustainable Development
Phone: (510) 981-7021
Email:  RMilliken@cityofberkeley.info