What is Climate (In)Equity?

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The impacts of climate change are complex, intersectional, and constantly evolving. Extreme weather events, wildfires, and flash floods are more frequent and more intense. These events lead to increased suffering and mortality for people, wildlife and ecosystems, as well as increased strains on health systems, infrastructure, and communities.

The Climate Inequity Problem

It’s global. Lower wealth communities, communities of color, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities & other frontline and fenceline communities are most vulnerable to climate risk, contributing to the cycle which 1) amplifies existing inequalities and 2) reinforces cycles of disparity.

How Did We Get Here?

  • Well-established, system-wide inequalities
  • Exclusion of certain socio-economic groups in solutions
  • Low prioritization of climate change as a global issue
  • Unequal access to STEM and tech jobs for overburdened groups such as people of color and women
  • Not enough accountability for businesses and their role in contributing to climate change
  • Low climate literacy and inadequate attention to health impacts
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Where Are We Headed?

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Youth, particularly BIPOC youth, feel disconnected from the climate crisis. Voices are not being heard. Lack of access to educational, climate leadership and career opportunities.

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Climate impacts are amplified for those in disinvested communities particularly children. Our disinvested communities are 25% more likely to live in areas with adverse health outcomes and the highest projected loss of jobs due to climate risks such as rising temperatures.

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Climate efforts are scattershot and disconnected from what the most vulnerable are experiencing. There are insufficient on-ramps to be part of the solution.

The Climate Equity Solution

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Climate Equity acknowledges these disproportionate burdens and seeks to address the imbalances. With a Climate Equity perspective, climate actions are planned and implemented in ways that are inclusive and seek to address the climate crisis and existing societal inequities.

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Climate solutions, such as renewable resources and other climate resiliency efforts, represent significant economic and workforce opportunities. With a climate equity approach, these solutions can contribute to resolving, rather than exacerbating, existing societal inequities.

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Climate equity strategies include ensuring that frontline communities (those that experience climate change consequences “first & worst”) drive climate action planning and implementation, distributing key resources to overburdened and under-resourced communities, and mitigate existing and future environmental risks.