Because the Climate Fight Is a Justice Fight
No parent should have to ask about chemicals in the water their kids drink. No one should have to wonder what the air they breathe is doing to their lungs. Or worry that yet another hurricane will unleash life-threatening floods and take everything they own. Once again.
But today, thanks to fossil fuels and centuries of systemic racism, this is exactly the reality millions of people of color and poor families live with.
In the US, it’s there in the legacy of racist housing and industrial policies that mean Black Americans are 75% more likely than Whites to live in fenceline communities close to oil and gas facilities polluting our air and changing our climate.
It’s there in the staggering fact that Black Americans breathe air with 38% more pollution than Whites and are exposed to 56% more pollution than they cause – while White Americans breathe 17% less pollution than they produce.
Globally, it’s there in the fact that those suffering the most from climate impacts from sweltering heat to never-ending drought to ever-more powerful storms are overwhelmingly people of color in poorer nations. As just one example, the majority of the 10 countries hit hardest by climate-fueled extreme weather from 1999– 2018 are also on the list of the world’s least developed nations.
The bottom line is this: Poor families and people of color have done the least to create the fossil fuel economy and the climate crisis. And yet they’re paying the greatest price.
It’s injustice, pure and simple. And it’s got to stop.