On Tuesday, Dec 7th, Coming Clean released the 2021 Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals, a roadmap to fundamentally transform the chemical industry, inform policy goals, and avoid false climate solutions. The Charter is endorsed by over 100 diverse organizations representing environmental justice and grassroots communities, environmental and health nonprofits, and leaders in the medical, public health, business, science and research communities, and was the product of years of collaboration.
In the first of its ten “planks,” or central tenets, the updated Charter highlights the urgent need to confront the chemical industry’s contribution to the climate crisis. The chemical industry is responsible for 7% of total greenhouse gas emissions, and this number is projected to grow unless action is taken to reduce the industry’s reliance on fossil fuels, according to a new policy background paper released in conjunction with the Charter.
The updated Charter also emphasizes the need to reduce disproportionate cumulative impacts on environmental justice (EJ) communities, including communities of color, Tribes and Native/Indigenous communities, and low-income communities that experience multiple pollutants from multiple sources and accumulation over time. A policy brief released on the 7th outlines model policies and practices that we should adopt to remedy disproportionate chemical hazards and exposures faced by EJ communities.
Above all, the Louisville Charter is intended to spur collective organizing and encourage alignment and ongoing dialogue among Coming Clean’s members, partners and allies for achieving our common vision of a safe and sustainable chemical industry that does not harm people, the environment, or the climate.
How to Get Involved
On www.louisvillecharter.org, you can find several resources for taking action including:
- A guide, available in English and Spanish on “Using the Charter to Create Change”;
- A form for sharing the Louisville Charter with elected officials, in order to build awareness and encourage policy-makers to use the charter as a resource;
- A form to collect business endorsements of the charter, in order to encourage businesses to adopt green chemistry principles, phase out toxic products, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
The site will be regularly updated in 2022 with new background policy papers, action opportunities and upcoming events.
Deidre Nelms is the Manager of Communications and Media at Coming Clean, a collaborative network of organizations, experts and community members working to transform the chemical and energy industries so they are no longer a source of harm.