Single-use plastic and air pollution: Two leading experts share their knowledge about climate change

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story. Read PublicSource's stories here. Climate change is a crisis that impacts us at both the global and local levels. The decisions of local and state lawmakers determine the type of materials that end up on our shelves and in our environment. The impact of pollution can vary depending on where you are, not just on a regional level but on a neighborhood level — meaning Pittsburghers don’t all experience the same consequences from pollution in the same way.

The Hill District has a lived experience and a roadmap for how community benefits agreements could work locally. In 2008, a CBA was negotiated between the Pittsburgh Penguins, several city and county agencies and the One Hill Neighborhood Coalition, which represented almost 100 groups in the Hill District at the time. (Photo by Maranie Rae Staab/PublicSource)

This Pittsburgh group wants all developers getting public subsidies to agree to community benefits. Including you, Amazon.

When Amazon launched a national search to find a home for its second headquarters, the corporate giant said it was looking for a site that could offer access to major highways,  a population of more than one million people, tax breaks and other financial incentives. Cities across North America, including Pittsburgh, spent weeks and money ($300,000 to $400,000 in Pittsburgh’s case) to formulate pitches that would stand out to Amazon as a suitable HQ2 location. A group focused on equitable development in Southwest Pennsylvania believes it should be a two-way road. If members of the Community Power Movement had it their way, the city would be demanding just as much in return from Amazon as the company is requesting from the applicant cities. No one really knows what regional officials have asked for in return, other than the implied infusion of jobs and development.