Agenda for a Just Future,Environmental & Climate Justice

Climate and Energy Funders Tour Highlights: From the Well to the Wheel

July 10, 2019
By Shirley Vilca

This past April, Liberty Hill hosted a bus tour that provided an opportunity for 40 funders with the Climate and Energy Funders Group (CEFG) to explore challenges and innovations around energy and the environment in Los Angeles.

The funders, who represent 125 key foundations that support climate research, organizing and policy, both nationally and internationally, were gathered in L.A. for their annual conference. On a tour organized by Liberty Hill, they traveled in a 100 percent electric battery bus provided by BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric heavy duty vehicles. The tour explored the fossil fuel life cycle, showing urban oil drilling sites next to homes and schools, as well as the massive oil refinery complex in Wilmington, and the region’s network of freeways and goods movement corridors, which contribute to both health and climate problems.

During the tour’s visit to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach participants viewed major shipping terminals, and learned about ambitious efforts to make heavy-duty vehicles and dock equipment zero emissions.

The tour also enjoyed a stop at Century Villages at Cabrillo, a transitional housing program for formerly homeless veterans, which has increased transit ridership, building efficiency and housing density.

The tour went on to highlight L.A. County’s efforts to transition customers to the Clean Power Alliance—a community choice aggregate soon to serve more than one million customers with up to 100 percent non-fossil fuel electricity—and the Liberty Hill emPOWER program, which promotes California’s solar, electric vehicle and energy efficiency programs in low-income, disadvantaged communities.

The funders returned to the CEFG conference energized and ready to continue the conversation on how to tackle the urgent climate crisis. Liberty Hill organized a panel at the conference with several leading grantees on “The L.A. Climate Story,” and moderated another session called “Stopping Fossil: A Deep Dive Into Anti-Fossil Fuel Campaigns Across the U.S. and Beyond.”

Our work for climate justice continues.