3 Challenges, 3 Errors, and 3 Solutions for climate change policy in California

A new paper was published by Dr. Josue Medellin-Azuara, along with Dr. Angel Santiago Fernandez-Bou, Jose M. Rodriguez-Flores,Humberto Flores-Landeros, Dr. Mahesh Maskey, Spencer Cole, and Alexander Guzman.


Due to the lack of representation for climate change research, California has been subjected to unjust policies based upon racism and lack of awareness. The lack of awareness and representation in public discourse has contributed to policies that overlook low-income rural communities causing social injustice in frontline communities. A  frontline community is defined as the regional group which experiences the consequences of climate change earliest and most unpleasant. In “3 Challenges, 3 Errors, and 3 Solutions for climate change policy in California” this paper reveals the miscarriage of justice for the frontline community due to climate change.

-Kimberly Parra

Frontline communities experience the compound effects of social, economic, and environmental injustices. Climate change is exacerbating the root causes of injustice in those areas, yet adaptation and mitigation strategies often fail to address the knowledge of frontline community stakeholders. Here we present three challenges, three errors, and three solutions to better integrate the needs and perspectives of frontline communities into climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. The challenges refer to some of the most pressing current and inherited circumstances experienced by frontline communities. The errors inhibit the resolution of one or more challenges, stem from actions of policymakers and academics, and are exacerbated by the lack of public and media representation of frontline communities. The solutions intend to resolve the challenges by exploring possibilities to integrate policy and research with landowners, industry, and the broader society toward achieving environmental justice and just transition. All challenges, errors, and solutions are interconnected, as the issues experienced in frontline communities are compounding and greater than the sum of their parts (Table 1).

Fernandez-Bou, A. S., Ortiz-Partida, J. P., Classen-Rodriguez, L. M., Pells, C., Dobbin, K. B., Espinoza, V., Rodríguez-Flores, J. M., Thao, C., Hammond Wagner, C. R., Fencl, A., Flores-Landeros, H., Maskey, M. L., Cole, S. A., Azamian, S., Gamiño, E., Guzman, A., Alvarado, A. G. F., Campos-Martínez, M. S., Weintraub, C., … Medellín-Azuara, J. (2021). 3 Challenges, 3 Errors, and 3 Solutions to Integrate Frontline Communities in Climate Change Policy and Research: Lessons From California. Frontiers in Climate, 3, 104. https://doi.org/10.3389/fclim.2021.717554