Climate change has been wreaking havoc on Black and Brown communities for decades. Resiliency planning and a just transition are necessary to ensuring our homes, communities, and futures are safe and healthy. We must preserve this planet for ourselves, our kids, and the generations to come.
Climate Justice is Racial Justice.
Black and Brown communities experience the direct impacts of climate change with the most intensity in the United States and around the globe. Our communities are disproportionately impacted due to decades of racist and classist planning. Industrial development, waste facilities, and a lack of greenspaces have created health disparities from air and water pollution, exposure to chemicals, and increased urban heat islands due to low tree canopy.
Climate Justice is Disability Justice.
Disabled community members experience some of the most significant impacts of climate change and obstacles to accessing resources to navigate the climate crisis. When a natural hazard or extreme weather event occurs, our disabled community members are left to navigate an ableist system that is not designed to provide them with adequate, responsive support. The City of Portland recently announced that an audit revealed that in the case of a natural hazard or other climate related emergency, they are not prepared to support disabled community members. This is unacceptable and exacerbates climate inequities.
Climate Justice is Economic Justice.
The impacts of climate change have an economic impact. Reactive planning has an expensive price tag after a disaster or natural hazard strikes. Proactive planning addresses the climate crisis at the root. Designing buildings, facilities, and bridges to be seismically resilient is less expensive than retrofitting. Investing in ecological cooling mechanisms like healthy tree canopies reduces heat from high temperatures and costs of energy bills by providing natural shade. Centering green infrastructure and jobs with just transitions is worth the initial investment and absolutely necessary to mitigate the climate crisis that continues to disproportionately impact our communities.