Climate & Clean Air
The climate crisis is already impacting Latino communities across the country. Latino communities want to see action taken to protect their health and mitigate the climate crisis. In fact, 86% of Latinx 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 Latinxs (78%) say they have personally experienced the effects of climate change. The majority of Latinxs 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 communities often bear disproportionate impacts of air pollution from fossil fuel sources such as coal plants or oil and gas facilities. Latinx children in the U.S. are twice as likely as non-Latinx whites to die from asthma attacks, partly because many Latinos live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant and Latinxs are more likely to lack access to health insurance. 1.8 million Latinxs in the U.S. live within a half-mile of an oil and gas facility, increasing odds of preterm birth and respiratory illnesses.
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. 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.
The goal of the working group is to cross-pollinate, create an opportunity for knowledge and skill sharing, and identify patterns or opportunities for GreenLatinos to help build capacity in Latino communities. The Climate and Clean Air Working group offers three ways for members to engage with GreenLatinos:
Quarterly Zoom Meetings
Who Can Join?
Anyone may join the working group. We encourage and prioritize individuals from the following groups to share a member update on working group calls:
Latinx-led organizations or based in a predominantly Latino community
Local-level, rather than state or national level
The email listserv is used to share information about relevant events, news, and policy actions.
The Mendeley Library Group allows members to share peer-reviewed studies, reports, or other articles on Climate and Clean Air topics that have a Latinx focus. This enables our members to have ready access to references that they can use to write grant proposals, reports, speeches, letters to the editor or op-eds, or sign-on letters; it also helps track and share relevant new research.
Recent Digital Encuentros on Climate and Clean Air have included: Laredo Climate Action Town Hall, Equity in Climate Action Planning, Florida Climate Justice Solutions.
Latinx partner organizations joined GreenLatinos in showing support for bold climate action following the release of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis plan to address the climate crisis entitled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy and Just America.”
GreenLatinos has been involved in fighting the Trump Administration’s rollbacks of EPA climate and clean air protections including rollbacks of methane standards for the oil and gas sector. National, state, and local Latinx partners joined us in denouncing the rollbacks.
GreenLatinos is committed to supporting regional efforts to address climate and air pollution. A 2020 environmental public health study published in EHP pointed to a prevailing threat for pregnant women in South Texas who live near the areas where flaring from oil and gas facilities is common. These women had a 50 percent higher rate of giving birth prematurely, with the impact of flaring falling entirely on Latinx mothers. GreenLatinos collaborated with state environmental organizations in Texas to draw attention to the persistent problem of venting and flaring from oil and gas facilities.