Climate Justice & Clean Air
The climate crisis is already impacting Latino/a/x communities across the country. Latino/a/x communities want to see action taken to protect their health and mitigate the climate crisis. In fact, 86% of Latino/a/x people support carbon pollution limits on power plants – a key driver of climate change. GreenLatinos supports the IPCC recommended goal of deep carbon cuts by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050 in order to prevent global average temperatures from rising by 1.5 ° C. GreenLatinos members are calling for federal climate action that achieves deep carbon cuts, funds resilient infrastructure, and prioritizes benefits for the most impacted communities.
An overwhelming majority of Latinos/as/x (78%) say they have personally experienced the effects of climate change. The majority of Latinos/as/x in the U.S. live in four states and territories that have already been devastated by natural disasters that were made more extreme because of climate change: from wildfires in California, to hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico, and flooding in Florida.
Latino/a/x communities often bear disproportionate impacts of air pollution from fossil fuel sources such as coal plants or oil and gas facilities. Latino/a/x children in the U.S. are twice as likely as non-Latino/a/x whites to die from asthma attacks, largely due to the disproportionate pollution burden Latino/a/x communities are exposed to. Additionally, Latinos/as/x are more likely to lack access to health insurance and are therefore less able to treat health ailments exacerbated by exposure to poor air quality. 1.8 million Latinos/as/x in the U.S. live within a half-mile of an oil and gas facility, increasing odds of a host of health problems including respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression and preterm birth and impaired fetal growth.
As the U.S. economy transitions away from fossil fuels, federal climate policy must include provisions to ensure equitable outcomes for communities that have experienced the highest pollution burdens, and establish safety nets for workers transitioning into clean economy jobs. For example, community members in the worst impacted neighborhoods should drive decision making, enabling their communities to receive the benefits of clean air and job transition programs first.
Climate justice and clean air collective
The goal of the collective is to cross-pollinate and uplift member priorities and campaigns, create an opportunity for knowledge and skill sharing, and identify patterns or opportunities for GreenLatinos to help build capacity in Latino/a/x communities around climate justice and clean air campaigns and policies. The Climate Justice and Clean Air Collective offers ways for members to meaningfully engage with GreenLatinos on the topic of climate justice and clean air through periodic virtual and in-person meetings, updated through newsletters, and opportunities for action through the Climate Justice and Clean Air Collective listserv.
Who Can Join?
Anyone may join the working group. We encourage and prioritize individuals from Latino/a/x-led organizations or based in predominantly Latino/a/x communities; those that work or are involved in environmental justice-focused work; or those who work in local or regional-level scales.
The email listserv is used to share information about relevant events, member and partner updates, news, and opportunities to take action.
The Climate Justice and Clean Air program continues creating opportunities for member education, engagement and action through virtual encuentros and dialogues in a variety of topics including placing pressure on decision-makers to pass critical federal climate investments, demystifying the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report findings with scientists and advocates, and focusing on Latinx-heavy communities and regional opportunities for action to address the climate crisis such as in the state of Arizona.
The Climate Justice and Clean Air Program launched its virtual Collective, which provides a platform for members and partners to periodically come together to learn about current campaigns and actions and to elevate local and regional community campaigns and fights.
GreenLatinos is a leading member of the Methane Partners Campaign which works to protect communities by ensuring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passes strong methane rules that address climate and health-harming leaks from active oil and gas production facilities. National, state, and local Latino/a/x partners have joined us in calling for stronger rules throughout the rulemaking process.
GreenLatinos is an active member of coalitions denouncing the expansion of oil and gas permits in the U.S. and calling for an end to oil drilling and a just transition to clean energy sources through Biden executive authority and congressional action.
GreenLatinos is actively involved in supporting critical rules that address air pollution affecting communities in close proximity to polluting sources including the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the update to PM2.5 and Ozone standards at the EPA.