Climate Injustice by the Numbers
Systemic racism puts
people of color in the
path of pollution
- Approximately 68% of Black Americans live within 30 miles of a coal fired power plant
- Black Americans are 75% more likely than others to live near hazardous waste facilities.
- In 46 US states, people of color live with more air pollution than Whites.
People of color are
paying the price
- People of color in the US are exposed to up to 63% more pollution than they produce – while White Americans are exposed to 17% less.
- Fossil fuel air pollution contributed to nearly one in five premature deaths in 2018.
- Pollution is contributing to people of color dying from COVID at up to 3.6 times the rate of White Americans.
The climate crisis also hits
poor families and people of color the hardest
- Research projects that unmitigated climate change will make the poor poorer in the US.
- Black Americans living in neighborhoods with few trees and more pavement suffer the most from climate-fueled heatwaves.
- Low-wage agricultural and construction workers – predominantly Mexican and Central American immigrants – are suffering increasing severe heat-related illness and deaths.
The same inequity
- Rising temperatures have made poor countries even poorer and rich countries richer.
- Developing nations are the most affected by stronger hurricanes, rising seas, spreading diseases and other impacts – and the least able to afford it.
- Climate change is projected to contribute to an additional 250,000 deaths each year by 2030, primarily in developing nations.
Communities of color are leading the fight to end pollution and climate change.
- People of color in the US support ambitious climate action and take action at higher rates than White Americans.
- Activists of color in the Southeast and across the US are developing new models of equity in energy.
- Indigenous communities are showing governments the value of effective forest management to help reduce wildfires and emissions.