Environmental Justice, Climate Change and Community Engagement (2022-2023)

The most recent United Nations climate report forecasts a bleak future if greenhouse gas emissions are not drastically cut. North Carolina enacted a goal to reduce 70% of the carbon dioxide emissions in electric power production by 2030. 

However, not all pathways to this goal are just. For example, the 2022 North Carolina Carbon Plan includes the use of swine waste biogas to offset emissions from fossil fuels, a method that threatens to increase both pollution and energy prices for many poor communities and communities of color in the state. 

This project team focused on confronting systemic exploitation in decarbonization policy and outlining an equitable, community-led alternative. They began by assembling a Community Advisory Board of environmental justice stakeholders throughout North Carolina. In partnership with the board, they investigated the process by which the Carbon Plan was developed. 

The team created a report documenting the severe lack of engagement with community stakeholders during the creation of the Carbon Plan. They then proposed guidelines for novel policy, law, rule and institutional proposals to implement a better system for engaging stakeholders in marginalized communities.


Summer 2022 – Spring 2023

Team Outputs

Justice on the Journey to Clean Energy (2023 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase)

Environmental Justice, Climate Change and Community Engagement (Interactive Display presented at Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 19, 2023)

Stakeholder Participation Bill of Rights

Stakeholder Participation Scorecard

This Team in the News

Amplifying Stories of Environmental Racism, Resistance in North Carolina

Graduate and Professional Student Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2023

Andrew Foster, Ryke Longest Awarded Newly Endowed Clinical Professorships


Image: Swine Facility Lagoons on Banks of Stream and Waste Transport Ditches to Stream – NC, by Waterkeeper Alliance Inc., licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Swine facility.

Team Leaders

  • Ryke Longest, Duke Law
  • Daniel (Lee) Miller, Duke Law

/graduate Team Members

  • Jonathan Choi, Marine Sci & Conservation-PHD
  • Erin Fleck, Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Leadership
  • Zoe Gabrielson, Public Int & Public Svce Law-C
  • Lauren Kobayashi, Masters of Public Policy, Master of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation
  • Renata Poulton Kamakura, Ecology-PHD
  • Kendall Wimberley, Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Economics/Policy

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Maya Arora, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Chloe Brenner, Environmental Sci/Policy (AB)
  • Isabella Delgado, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Coral Lin, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Grant Lyerly, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Robert Phillips, Public Policy Studies (AB)