The presidential candidates at the CNN climate forum on Wednesday repeatedly emphasized how climate change is hurting low-income communities and people of color, reflecting a growing awareness among Democrats that many of the problems they seek to address are inextricably tied to racism, poverty and other forms of discrimination and inequality.

Nine of the 10 participating candidates — all except former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — named or clearly alluded to environmental justice, a framework that calls for environmental policies to explicitly address racial and economic disparities exacerbated by a warming planet.

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