Donor Briefings

Environmental Justice and Climate Change (RECORDED)


Nov 01, 2023


12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.



Climate change affects everyone, and under-resourced communities often bear the brunt of the worst impacts. In Connecticut, advocates and innovators are working on solutions with both local and global implications.

Our virtual panel discussion from November 1, 2023, focused on the public health risks posed by climate change and the work being done to build a cleaner future.


What We Heard

  • Climate change is making existing environmental hazards worse.
  • Extreme weather events caused by climate change make poor housing (prone to leaks, cold and poor ventilation) and other environmental hazards even more unhealthy.
  • Bad health outcomes linked to harmful environmental conditions are concentrated in low-income neighborhoods.
  • We will have better outcomes if we prepare with infrastructure changes like bio-swales, tree canopies and strategic plantings.
  • Residents who are most affected by climate change need to be at the table when decisions are being made about allocating resources to solutions.
  • Technological innovation is needed to eliminate the carbon and greenhouse gasses we are now putting into the atmosphere and change the trajectory of climate change.
  • New green technologies will also create new opportunities for creating new wealth in an inclusive economy.
  • New technologies should be piloted in the neighborhoods most adversely affected by climate change.
  • Connecticut has the opportunity to be a leader in developing green technologies for the planet.

What We Can Do

  • Join others in demanding change. Justice will not occur until those who are not impacted are as vocal and involved as those who are.
  • Advocate for infrastructure improvements such as separate drain systems for sewers and storm water.
  • Listen to communities and share information to raise awareness about environmental justice issues.

Resources for You

The Connecticut Environmental Rights Amendment would give every person those rights, and protect them equitably regardless of race, ethnicity, tribal membership status, gender, socioeconomics or geography.
Bioswales are an important solution for diverting storm water from drain systems.
Build Better CT offers policy solutions for reducing the carbon footprint of buildings.
Urban Resources Initiative is helping to cool city neighborhoods by growing the tree canopy in New Haven.


Ryan Dings

Chief Executive Officer

Venture Partner
Connecticut Innovations ClimateTech Fund

Mark Mitchell M.D., MPH

Co-chair, National Medical Association’s Council on Environmental Health and Climate Change
Co-chair, Governor’s Connecticut Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Council (CEEJAC)
Emeritus Associate Professor of Climate Change, Energy, & Environmental Health Equity at George Mason University


Christina Ciociola

Senior Vice President for Grantmaking and Strategy
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

For questions or changes in registration, please email Carmen Burgos.