CLIMATE JUSTICE

CLIMATE JUSTICE

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Air pollution exposure disparities across US population and income groups

01/12/22
Air pollution contributes to the global burden of disease, with ambient exposure to fine particulate matter of diameters smaller than 2.5μm (PM 2.5 ) being identified as the fifth-ranking risk factor for mortality globally 1…

FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Releases Agency Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans from Across Federal Government

10/07/21
The Biden-Harris Administration released plans developed by more than 20 federal agencies that outline the steps each agency will take to ensure their facilities and operations adapt to and are increasingly resilient to climate change…

Environmental & Climate Justice

06/11/20
Environmental injustice, including the proliferation of climate change, has a disproportionate impact on communities of color and low income communities in the United States and around the world. The NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program…

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

02/12/20
WE ACT’s mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.

Climate Justice Alliance

01/17/20
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) formed in 2013 to create a new center of gravity in the climate movement by uniting frontline communities and organizations into a formidable force. Our translocal organizing strategy and mobilizing…

Earthjustice

09/06/19
Earth Justice fights for a vibrant, livable future by: securing national and global rules to cut carbon through work in the courts, Congress and via international negotiations to secure real, enforceable cuts in climate pollution;…

MORE NEWS

Black communities are last in line for disaster planning in Texas

By Tracy Jan  Photo: Juan Lozano , AP   05/12/22  
During heavy storms, water overflows the dirt drainage ditch fronting his yard and the bayou at the end of his block — flooding the street, creeping up his front steps, pooling beneath the house, and…

Environmental Racism: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

05/02/22  
John Oliver discusses environmental racism, how both government and industry are failing people of color, and pandas.

Climate change and the third world, in New Mexico

By Marjorie Childress   04/30/22  
In reporting two recent stories about abandoned uranium mines north of Church Rock, N.M., I heard residents say several times that they want federal officials to take action, not just more talk about cleaning up…

‘Existential Threat’: Indigenous Leaders Urge Citigroup to Stop Backing Amazon Oil

By Rachel Sherrington  Photo: Geoff Gallice   04/28/22  
Indigenous leaders have called on Citigroup to stop financing oil and gas projects in the Amazon, saying the bank’s activities contradict its climate pledges by putting the threatened ecosystem at greater risk.

Study Links the Location of Oil and Gas Wells with Redlined Neighborhoods

By Terry E. Cohen   04/25/22  
In the U.S., April commemorates Fair Housing Month, the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and the now-global Earth Day. This year, those events find a fitting relationship in a sobering new study published…

HBCU students, faculty press urgent need for climate action

By Drew Costley  Photo: Drew Costley , AP News   04/16/22  
Both joy and frustration are in the air in New Orleans at the HBCU Climate Change Conference this week as environmental and climate advocates and researchers from around the United States press for urgent climate…

The Promise of the Environmental Justice For All Act

By Yukyan Lam and Sara Imperiale   04/08/22  
The Environmental Justice for All Act (EJ for All Act) is an essential federal legislative effort to begin remedying the long history of environmental racism and injustice in the United States, including the cumulative and…

12 books on racial, gender, and environmental/climate justice

By Michael Svoboda   04/06/22  
Overshadowed though it is by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on February 28th, still made news – and not just for its updated, and grimmer,…

Indigenous, Black and Communities of Color Fighting for Environmental Justice

04/05/22  
The Ash Center Institutional Antiracism and Accountability (IARA) Project and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development (HPAIED) held a JFK Jr. Forum on April 4, 2022 about how racial and climate justice intersect.…

The women who fight for climate justice

03/30/22  
As the climate crisis escalates, we see the convergence of gender and climate. Past IPCC reports have noted that those already most vulnerable and marginalized will experience the climate crisis first and worst. In particular,…

Op-Ed: How can the White House fix environmental injustice if it won’t take race into account?

By Alvaro Sanchez and Manuel Pastor  Photo: Carolyn Cole , Los Angeles Times   03/18/22  
In mid-February, when the White House unveiled the beta version of its Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, it was met by sharp criticism from environmental justice advocates: A mapping tool designed to identify disadvantaged…

US says $100 billion soon to help poor nations with climate

By Edith M. Lederer   03/10/22  
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday he thinks rich countries can finally meet their pledge to provide $100 billion annually to help poor nations cope with climate change beginning this year — and will…

How Air Pollution Across America Reflects Racist Policy From the 1930s

By Raymond Zhong and Nadja Popovich  Photo: Jeff Chiu , Associated Press   03/09/22  
Urban neighborhoods that were redlined by federal officials in the 1930s tended to have higher levels of harmful air pollution eight decades later, a new study has found, adding to a body of evidence that…

Demographics of emissions

03/09/22  
Meeting climate targets requires emissions reductions. If we consider the carbon footprint of individuals, the current global per capita value of 3.2 tCO2 exceeds the calculated 1.6–2.8 tCO2 required to limit warming to 1.5–2 °C. Individuals…

Women of Color Are Leading Climate Justice Work

By Jessica Kutz  Photo : John Lamparsky , AP   03/03/22  
When winter storm Uri hit Houston last February, widespread power outages resulted in residents going days without heat and electricity. Almost half of Texans lost access to clean drinking water.

Colorado River, stolen by law

By Pauly Denetclaw  Photo: Gabriella Trujillo/High Country News   03/01/22  
Indigenous nations have been an afterthought in U.S. water policy for over a century. That was all part of the plan.

Why Environmental Justice Is Crucial in Climate Resilience: Just Look at New Sea Rise Predictions

By Ezra David Romero  Photo: Beth LaBerge , KQED   02/23/22  
The county in California most at risk from sea level rise is San Mateo, with nearly 100,000 people — half residents of color — living just three feet above the high-tide line. If climate models…

3 takeaways from GWMS on the future of environmental justice, greenhouse gas emissions and leachate at landfills

By Megan Quinn   02/23/22  
As landfill operators plan for a future with stricter regulations, more environmental justice considerations and uncertainties about PFAS and other contaminants, speakers at the Global Waste Management Symposium (GWMS) offered new guidance for adjusting to…

Why Black Climate Week Absolutely Matters

By Leon Kaye   02/23/22  
No, those photos you saw from past Climate Week NYC events and similar gatherings over the years weren’t washed out: They were just overall very white. Despite the data confirming that communities of color are…

New White House climate justice screening tool excludes race to avoid legal challenges, officials say

By Drew Costley  Photo: Carolyn Kaster   02/21/22  
The Biden administration on Friday released a screening tool to help identify disadvantaged communities long plagued by environmental hazards, but it won't include race as a factor in deciding where to devote resources.

Velshi: We need to prioritize environmental justice in our efforts to fight climate change

By Ali Velshi   02/19/22  
Natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires – all made worse by the climate crisis – have something in common: they disproportionately cripple poor, Black and minority communities. Dozens of studies demonstrate how climate-aggravated natural…

Centering Equity to Address Extreme Heat

By Rebecca Marx and Jorge Morales-Burnett   02/18/22  
Extreme heat cannot be addressed without considering equity. Its impact is not felt equally across communities. The legacy of racist housing policies and historic

Race Excluded as WH Rolls Out Climate Justice Screening Tool

By Associated Press  Photo: Carolyn Kaster , AP File Photo   02/18/22  
The Biden administration has released a screening tool to help identify disadvantaged communities long plagued by environmental hazards, but it won’t include race as a factor in deciding where to devote resources.

Addressing Extreme Heat Will Require an Intentional Focus on Equity

By Jorge Morales-Burnett and Rebecca Marx   02/16/22  
Extreme heat is the deadliest weather-related hazard in the United States—a fact that historically has gone underrecognized. Experts consider heat a silent killer, resulting in more than 600 deaths per year as well as illnesses…

White House Takes Aim at Environmental Racism, but Won’t Mention Race

By Lisa Friedman  Photo: Sarahbeth Maney   02/15/22  
As a candidate and then as president, Joseph R. Biden promised to address the unequal burden that people of color carry from exposure to environmental hazards. But the White House’s new environmental strategy to tackle…

Conversations at the front line of climate

02/15/22  
The climate crisis is a novel and developing chapter in human and planetary history. As a species, humankind is still very much learning how to face this crisis, and the world’s frontline communities — those…

Climate Displacement Gives America the Opportunity to Improve the Record on Immigration

By Diana Martinez Quintana   02/09/22  
Weather-related disasters—such as intense storms, floods, and droughts—have been the leading catalyst of new internal (within-country) displacements worldwide in recent years. In 2020, 30 million new people were internally displaced due to weather-related disasters. That…

Senator Markey and Congresswoman Bush Urge Biden to Release Draft Environmental Justice Mapping Tool

02/09/22  
Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) urged the Biden administration to swiftly release a first iteration of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, which would provide government agencies with…

US flooding increase will disproportionately impact black and low-income groups

By Ayesha Tandon  Photo: Sgt. Jonathan Shaw, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment/Released   01/31/22  
Climate change and population growth could drive a 26% rise in US flood risk by 2050 – disproportionately impacting black and low-income groups – new research finds.

Climate action planning misses equity opportunities in many California cities

By Allison Arteaga Soergel   01/31/22  
A new study led by UC Santa Cruz found that most California cities still have a long way to go in addressing equity as part of their climate action plans, and researchers identified common pitfalls…

EPA acts to curb air, water pollution in poor communities

By Matthew Daly  Photo: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert   01/27/22  
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a series of enforcement actions Wednesday to address air pollution, unsafe drinking water and other problems afflicting minority communities in three Gulf Coast states, following a “Journey to Justice” tour…

The People Most Impacted by Climate Change Are Ready to Fuck Shit Up

By Angely Mercado  Photo: Tayfun Coskun   01/27/22  
Surprise, surprise, the people who are the most affected by the climate crisis in the U.S. are the ones who are more likely to put their bodies on the line to change bad climate policy.
BBC

Why climate change is inherently racist

By Jeremy Williams  Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty   01/27/22  
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, it was the city's black neighbourhoods that bore the brunt of the storm. Twelve years later, it was the black districts of Houston that took the full…

Biden’s focus on environmental justice led to a year of progress — and burnout

By Darryl Fears  Photo: Evan Vucci/AP   01/27/22  
As he prepared to embark on “the most ambitious climate and environmental justice agenda ever pursued” in Washington, President Biden tapped one of the nation’s foremost experts on the topic to lead his historic effort.
EPA

EPA Administrator Regan Announces Bold Actions to Protect Communities Following the Journey to Justice Tour

01/26/22  
Following through on his commitment to action during his Journey to Justice Tour, US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan announced today the first in a series of actions responding directly to concerns of…

Rihanna’s foundation donates $15 million to climate justice

By The Associated Press  Photo: Jordan Strauss , AP File   01/26/22  
Rihanna is backing her belief that climate change is a social-justice issue by pledging $15 million to the movement through her Clara Lionel Foundation. The “We Found Love” singer on Tuesday announced the donation to…

Heavy hitters form $500M joint venture to expand community solar to disadvantaged communities

By Eric Wesoff  Photo: Joe Amon via Getty Images   01/19/22  
Reactivate, a new joint venture with half a billion dollars in backing, says it has figured out how to profitably develop community solar projects to serve low- to moderate-income communities.

Inspired by King’s Words, Experts Say the Fight for Climate Justice Anywhere is a Fight for Climate Justice Everywhere

By James Bruggers  Photo: Central Press/Getty Images   01/17/22  
Terms like “environmental racism” or “environmental justice” were not yet part of the national lexicon when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

Black Farmers Are Rebuilding Agriculture in Coal Country

By Natalie Peart   01/10/22  
While most people associate West Virginia with coal mining, the hills and valleys are also suited for agriculture. And as coal production wanes, farmers are seeing growing opportunities to expand their sector.

There’s a Way to End Energy Poverty—And It Has the Side Effect of Making Fossil Fuels Obsolete

By Nicole Poindexter  Photo: Andrew Aitchison , Getty Images   01/06/22  
You bring your feverish baby to the hospital in the middle of the night. The nurse asks you to go home to get a flashlight. When the flashlight batteries give out, she resorts to a…

Climate Justice Through Divestment

By Ray Levy Uyeda  Photo: Erik Mcgregor Via Getty Images   01/04/22  
In recent years, a growing movement to achieve climate justice has connected the root cause of climate change not just with greenhouse gases but also with a more entrenched, insidious foe: capitalism. The United States…

Price hike marks new era for Calif. cap and trade

By Benjamin Storrow  Photo: Jae C. Hong   01/03/22  
When California lawmakers passed a 10-year extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program in 2017, it was celebrated as a crowning climate achievement. Four short years later, the program has become a political albatross. Environmental justice…

Federal disaster relief programs don’t help those in greatest need, FEMA report says

By Enrique Saenz   01/03/22  
A national advisory panel concluded that programs designed to help people suffering disaster impacts “often fail to deliver assistance to those with the greatest need,” contributing to a wealth gap in the U.S.

NM groups granted $325K in support of environmental justice

By Theresa Davis   01/02/22  
In New Mexico, low-income and minority residents are more likely to live in polluted areas with diminished water and air quality and limited access to outdoor areas.
PNS

Wyoming Defies U.S. Supreme Court Over Crow Tribal Hunting Rights

By Eric Galatas   12/30/21  
Wyoming will appeal a recent district court decision affirming Crow tribal hunting rights granted under treaties signed in the 19th century, rights recently affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Dan Lewerenz, staff attorney for the…

‘We’re Being Wrapped in Poison’: A Century of Oil and Gas Development Has Devastated the Ponca City Region of Northern Oklahoma

By Phil McKenna  Photo: Phil McKenna   12/26/21  
When Earl “Trey” Howe III returned home here after four years of military service, the first thing he noticed was the smell. Howe grew up in and around Ponca City, the site of the Phillips…

Air pollution still disproportionately harms communities of color, study says

By Maxine Joselow and Alexandra Ellerbeck  Photo: Damian Doverganes , AP   12/15/21  
Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! We're still waiting to see if Congress will pass the Build Back Better Act before Christmas. More on that below. But first:

“Vigilant inclusion” central to combating climate change

By Leda Zimmerman   12/07/21  
“To turbocharge work on saving the planet, we need effective, innovative, localized solutions, and diverse perspectives and experience at the table,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, the keynote speaker at the 10th…

As Oil Drilling Looms in the Gulf, ‘Forgotten’ Native Americans Fear for Their Fragile Community

By Frances Madeson  Photo: Win McNamee , Getty Images   11/24/21  
Three months after Hurricane Ida made landfall in the parish adjacent to Albert Naquin’s home in southern Louisiana, the 75-year-old chief of the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw is thankful that the tribe is still…

California has a new battle plan against environmental injustice. The nation is watching

By Evan Halper and Anna M. Phillips  Photo: Carolyn Cole , Los Angeles Times   11/18/21  
Residents in this economically stressed patch of the San Joaquin Valley gripped by respiratory sickness were not surprised to learn local officials had exempted all four area fuel refineries from fully complying with a new…