Contact: Lindsay Meiman, 350 Action, (347) 460-9082
New York, NY — Today at the National Action Network, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced a new environmental and climate justice plan for combatting what Clinton describes as “environmental racism.”
“Secretary Clinton is finally saying what movement leaders have said for years: climate change is a justice issue,” said Jason Kowalski, spokesperson for 350 Action. “The global impacts of climate change, and the localized impacts of burning fossil fuels, fall disproportionately on low-income communities and communities of color. Clinton’s plan acknowledges that these same communities should also lead the way toward solutions like residential solar, energy efficiency, and climate-resilient infrastructure.”
Today’s announcement was made just seven blocks from the start of the People’s Climate March, the largest climate march in history, where in September 2014 more than 400,000 people flooded the streets of New York City demanding climate justice from world governments. The march was led by communities on the front lines of environmental and climate justice fights: from African-American leaders impacted by Hurricane Sandy, to indigenous leaders fighting tar sands in their backyard.
Clinton’s new platform speaks to the widespread issue of environmental injustice, focusing on restoration of crumbling infrastructure, including water systems, public schools, housing, and transportation, as well as investments in renewable energy and clean energy jobs.
Tomorrow, Democratic presidential candidates will meet in Brooklyn for a debate ahead of next Tuesday’s New York primary, a site that was flooded during Hurricane Sandy. New York is one of the only states to ban fracking. Across the country, fracking is often considered a root cause of the poor air and water quality experienced by many low-income communities and communities of color.
“America deserves to see a serious debate about climate justice,” said Kowalski. “What lessons are we learning from Flint? Are we content concentrating fossil fuel extraction, like fracking, in communities of color? Or concentrating offshore drilling in poor communities along the Gulf coast?”
350 Action has not endorsed any presidential candidate and is working in primary states to urge candidates for president to take bold action on climate change by pledging to keep fossil fuels in the ground and support a just transition to a 100% renewable energy economy that works for all.