The climate crisis we face is one that is rooted in systems of oppression: One where we as a society value personal property and the earnings of companies more than our community’s right to clean air and water. And, one where the fossil fuel companies locate dirty and polluting facilities in the communities where Black, Brown and Indigenous people often live. This is a product of systemic environmental racism. And, our work must address head on the white supremacist system that has created and upholds our climate crisis.
Our climate crisis is already felt by Washingtonians, particularly by communities already on the frontlines of our polluted economy. Washington’s Health Disparity Mapping Tool demonstrates how those communities that are already bearing the brunt of pollution are also most susceptible to the ongoing impacts of our climate crisis – from more extreme heat events, more sustained fire seasons and the air pollution that comes with that, to more extreme rain and precipitation and sea level rise.
This means that climate change is a threat multiplier, which means we must address our climate crisis through a racial justice frame. There simply is no climate justice without racial justice.
Our work now is to ensure that all climate advocacy builds a more just and equitable climate movement for change. We are investing in this work through supporting and strengthening the Climate Alliance, a diverse coalition of frontline community organizations, labor unions, environmental organizations, faith and healthcare organizations and more.
Through this coalition, we are going up against the fossil fuel industry and charting the course to change decades of land use, transportation, industrial and utility policies that reinforce an extractive and polluting system.