by Emily Atkin, Heated
As protests and demonstrations occur throughout the world in response to the murder of George Floyd, some environmental groups have responded in solitary while many other activists and groups have remained silent.
- Groups such as the Sierra Club and white climate activists like Greta Thunberg have all spoken out in solidarity. However, other activists like Al Gore or groups such as Citizens Climate Lobby have remained silent on the issue.
- Liz Havstad, the executive director of Hip Hop Caucus, says it doesn’t make sense for climate groups not to stand in solidarity:
“The burden of the issues that you’re working on are falling harder on all people color, and particularly Black people…Unless you’re willing to solve the roots of that disproportionate impact, you’re not solving anything at all.”
- The lack of support for the black community plays a role in why black people are underrepresented in mainstream environmental groups, are less likely to participate in outdoor recreation, and are less likely to label themselves as environmentalists
- Various environmental groups do not see racial inequality as an intersectional movement and have been reluctant to address racism within the climate movement
The impacts of climate change are hitting harder and faster than expected, posing grave threats to human health and well-being. Lower-income communities are disproportionately affected by exposure to pollution from our fossil fuel economy. Climate Justice involves a climate safe future for all people from all backgrounds and neighborhoods.