Southeast

The American Southeast sweeps eastward from the Ozark National Forest, across the Appalachian Mountains and the southeastern coastal plain to the expansive Atlantic coastline. This subtropical region is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, facing rising sea levels and increased occurrences of severe hurricanes, heat waves, and extreme droughts.

NRDC works throughout the region—in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida—to protect critical habitats and develop clean energy and climate resilience policies while also working to slow the expansion of offshore drilling, fossil fuel pipelines, and unsustainable bioenergy projects.

Some of our accomplishments:

  • NRDC represented residents of Dickson, Tennessee, in a landmark environmental justice case to address toxic chemicals in groundwater under residents’ homes. We obtained a legal settlement that required new water supplies and enhanced water- and air-quality monitoring.
  • NRDC has helped push North Carolina forward as a leader in energy efficiency and solar energy. With our encouragement, the state has signed on to the U.S. Climate Alliance and pledged to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the accord. In addition, Governor Roy Cooper has committed to developing a state resilience plan and reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025.
  • NRDC and our local partners have slowed down the expansion of fracked gas pipelines across Virginia and North Carolina. We are also supporting coastal communities across the Southeast by fighting the Trump administration’s plan to open U.S. waters to offshore drilling—which would threaten marine life, injure regional economies, and exacerbate global warming.
  • At North Carolina Utilities Commission proceedings, NRDC is collaborating with regional advocates to push for improved energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, energy rates that deliver clean energy benefits, and financial incentives for utilities that are aligned with the public interest. With local partners, NRDC is also fighting to ensure dirty, destructive, and expensive forest biomass projects have no place in the state’s Clean Energy Plan.
  • Through the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), NRDC is working with partners in Atlanta and Memphis to support inclusive, equitable, climate-wise, and healthy community development. SPARCC offers training and technical assistance, capital, and a learning community, expanding our regional partners’ capacity to transform their built environment so that people of all races and incomes benefit and thrive.
  • NRDC is teaming up with local partners and city officials in South Carolina to develop new and faster relocation assistance for owners of repeatedly flooded homes, as current federal disaster assistance programs can take years to reach recipients.
  • Through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge, NRDC is supporting the cities of Washington, D.C., Charlotte, Atlanta, St. Petersburg, and Orlando to tackle their carbon reduction goals.
  • In Virginia, NRDC has helped usher in a clean energy expansion, with a commitment from the state’s electric utilities to a decade-long, $1 billion investment in energy efficiency.
  • Through the Energy Efficiency for All initiative, NRDC is partnering with diverse stakeholders in states including Georgia, Louisiana, and Virginia to ensure affordable multifamily homes are energy and water efficient. This combined effort has resulted in nearly $500 million in additional funding for efficiency upgrades and continues to improve the quality of low-income rental housing.