US Center for Climate Law and Policy

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For Immediate Release
May 1, 2017

Media Contact: Emma Collin
Phone: (985) 290-3825



US Human Rights Network Announces Launch of US Center for Climate Law & Policy 


Atlanta, GA (May 2017) - The US Human Rights Network, a 14-year-old national human rights organization headquartered in Atlanta announces receivership of climate programming from the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy through the launch of  The US Center for Climate Law & Policy (USCCLP). Born as a project of Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc. in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and becoming an independent organization in 2014, the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP), is a public interest law firm and justice center with a mission to promote structural shifts toward climate justice and ecological equity for Gulf Coast communities on the frontline of climate change.  Both organizations have operated independently to advance human rights in the US. 

USHRN remains committed to its original mission of advancing a people-centered human rights movement in the US.  Programming and priorities that support the engagement of grassroots leaders to hold US governments accountable and highlight human rights concerns in the US will continue. As a project of USHRN, the addition of the US Center for Climate Law & Policy will bring human rights programming to address the impact of the global climate crisis in the US, while maintaining a strong focus on the Gulf South region. 

“The launch of the US Center for Climate Law & Policy project was inspired by more than 11 years of work in the post-Katrina, post-BP Gulf Coast with partners, allies, and most importantly, residents on the frontline of these climate-connected disasters. Combining GCCLP’s regional climate programs with USHRN’s mission to advance a national human rights movement honors real experiences of climate-disaster survivors in the advancement of human rights in the US.” Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director, US Human Rights Network

The new US Center for Climate Law & Policy will work to progress U.S. and international climate policy recommendations connected to advancing the racial, economic, gender, environmental, cultural and voting rights required to plan for, endure and recover from climate-based disaster.  Programming will also develop rapid response teams of trained human rights lawyers, climate disaster recovery rights trainings for impacted communities and community advocacy tools that connect a climate justice goal with a human rights framework. The USCCLP will be located Louisiana and led by former GCCLP Interim Director, Vanessa Spinazola, Esq.

“Incorporating the community climate justice work of GCCLP into the national scope and international framework of the USHRN provides both organizations with an unprecedented opportunity to localize human rights through the lens of rising seas and other consequences of extractive economies.” - Vanessa Spinazola, Director, US Center for Climate Law & Policy

Current GCCLP programming and staff will transition USHRN as of May 1, 2017 with the commitment to reach all anticipated benchmarks and goals. The new US Center on Climate Law & Policy will support the national expansion of sustainable economies and energy democracy work started at GCCLP and through the 2015 Gulf South Rising initiative.  Staff from both organizations are reaching out individually to stakeholders, and welcome inquiries about the new USHRN National Center on Climate Law & Policy. For more information visit  

We are excited to announce Vanessa Spinazola, Esq. as the Director of the US Center on Climate Law and Policy. For any questions about the US Center on Climate Law and Policy programming email her at

The US Human Rights Network is a national network of organizations and individuals working to strengthen a human rights movement and culture within the United States led by the people most directly impacted by human rights violations. USHRN works to realize human rights by engaging, connecting and mobilizing communities to uphold and defend human rights and hold government accountable, building the capacity and leadership of grassroots groups, facilitating effective collective action to secure the long-term structural change to achieve justice and fully realize human rights, and raising the visibility of local human rights concerns nationally, and internationally.