For rural states with strong ties to fossil fuels industries, green jobs can be a tough sell. Higher temperatures lead to more deaths and illness, hospital and emergency room visits, and birth defects. In 23 states, there were 3.5 times more cases among American Indian and Alaskan Native communities than in white communities. As such, it is no surprise that St. James Parish is among the 20 U.S. counties with the highest per-capita death rates from COVID-19. The fossil fuel industry was literally built on the backs and over the graves of Indigenous people around the globe, as they were forced off their land and either slaughtered or subjugated — from the Arab world to Africa, from Asia to the Americas. LatinX people are 17 percent of the population, but 39 percent of them live near coal plants. The following studies are examples of the contributions of OEHHA scientists to the growing body of literature on climate change: Indicators of Climate Change in California: Environmental Justice Impacts. But here’s the thing, actions speak louder than words. As time goes on, they will suffer the worst impacts of climate change, unless we recognize that fighting climate change and environmental justice are inextricably linked. On March 26, the agency issued a memo stating that it will “not seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring or reporting obligations.” Join Green America by urging your elected officials in Congress to hold the EPA accountable and…. “If we don’t pollute and we have a Green New Deal to build better, cleaner, and greener, then we won’t have these environmental justice issues.”, echo do_shortcode('[instagram-feed]'); ?>. But to truly tackle food access, activists take on racist systems and language, too. Create an equitable system for decision-making so there is not an undue burden placed on disadvantaged communities. Call out the officials who are making decisions that are not in the best interest of the people they represent. A few years ago, a young boy named Kevin Brown made national news after pollution from an industrial factory near his home triggered repeated asthma attacks. Everything was for the taking; everything was for sale. Note: This interview is from an article in published in the Fall 2007 issue of Co-op America Quarterly, now called Green American. In addition, low-income areas in cities have been found to be five to 12 degrees hotter than higher income neighborhoods because they have fewer trees and parks, and more asphalt that retains heat. They’re also trying to safeguard their Tribal history. As the founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, Catherine Flowers works to implement the best practices to reduce environmental injustice. An 85-mile stretch along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, hosts the densest concentration of petrochemical companies in the U.S. As almost 100,000 residents — including 9,000 children — drank lead-laced water, lead levels in the children’s blood doubled and tripled in some neighborhoods, putting them at high risk for neurological damage. In addition, energy justice brings an understanding of restorative justice which is based upon holding energy providers to account, which builds upon the polluter pays principle from environmental and climate justice ( Caney, 2010 ). Eventually federal funds were directed toward the rebuilding of parts of the Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East and the strengthening of their levees. It is also, fundamentally, a social justice issue. For example, while Blacks make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, 68 percent live within 30 miles of a coal plant. Heat waves cause air masses to remain stagnant and prevent air pollution from moving away. On March 26, the agency issued a memo stating that it will “not seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring or reporting obligations.” Join Green America by urging your elected officials in Congress to hold the EPA accountable and urge the reversal of this dangerous decision. Environmental justice is a major movement and organizing discourse in the environmental politics arena, and both the movement and the idea have had a large influence on the way that climate justice has been conceptualized. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm, caused extensive destruction in New Orleans and its environs. As we work toward Drawdown, it’s critical to address the impacts of climate change in communities of color, which are often hit “first and worst.”, Photo credit Brittani Flowers via Wikimedia Commons. In the U.S., these more vulnerable communities are largely the communities of color, immigrants, low-income communities and people for whom English is not their native language. When Black people migrated North from the South in the early 20th century, many did not have jobs or money; consequently they were forced to live in substandard housing. “Lobbyists that represent these [polluting] companies shouldn’t have more influence than the people who live in the area that are impacted by it,” said Flowers. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by climate change and toxic pollution. Disadvantaged communities are particularly at risk because subpar housing with old infrastructure may be more vulnerable to power outages, water issues and damage. How urban gardening is regenerating L.A.’s soil—and community, By Ayate Temsamani, Green America's Climate Fellow Climate change is a threat to everyone’s physical health, mental health, air, water, food and shelter, but some groups—socially and economically disadvantaged ones—face the greatest risks. There are 30 large plants within 10 miles of mostly Black St. Gabriel, with 13 within three miles. Urge Walmart to phase out harmful HFCs, track and repair its refrigerant leaks, and commit to responsible disposal.