5 Facts that Prove Climate Justice is Racial Justice
Black people are experiencing the worst effects of climate change in America. Bold climate action is needed now.
1. Black mothers and their babies are dying.
Black mothers are 3x more likely to die from pregnancy complications. And new research shows that Black mothers are at greater risk of their newborns dying or being born at a low birthweight due to climate-change-driven extreme heat and air pollution.
2. Black people can’t breathe.
Black children are 10x more likely to die from asthma. As adults, Black Americans are 3x more likely to die from COVID-19. One study found that communities of color in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic breathe 66% more air pollution just from car exhaust than white residents — exposure that was made worse when Trump insisted on rolling back clean cars standards. All this pollution is now causing disproportionately high deaths for Black Americans during the COVID-19 crisis with Black Americans dying at 3x the rate of white Americans.
3. Extreme heat is killing Black people.
Black Americans are more likely to die from heat-related illness — and it’s not by accident. In fact, researchers found that neighborhoods that were subject to racist exclusionary housing policies (redlining) experience higher temperatures than wealthier neighborhoods because of the way they were built. Meanwhile, Trump is rolling back protections against housing discrimination, trapping people of color in unhealthy conditions.
4. Extreme weather is destroying Black neighborhoods.
Flooding disproportionately harms Black neighborhoods. Both Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey provided stark examples of how low-elevation black neighborhoods suffered the costliest flood damage. And it’s only going to get worse as Trump just dismissed the scientists who tried to warn him about deadly hurricanes, saying they have “a political agenda.”
5. Polluters plague Black neighborhoods.
Black Americans are 75% more likely to live in “fence-line communities,” areas, like South Philadelphia and Port Arthur, TX, which border oil and natural gas refineries. But Trump is gutting rules that would give residents of these communities any say about pollution in their neighborhoods — effectively silencing Black voices concerned about their health and safety.