Op Ed: Climate Crisis Demands Diverse Leadership
Dr. Jennie Stephens, GRI’s Director of Strategic Research Collaborations, Director of SPPUA and Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy at Northeastern University contributed an Op-Ed to The Progressive focused on climate and energy policies with social, economic, and racial justices at its core.
With California Senator Kamala Harris as the Democratic pick for vice president, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar winning her Minnesota primary on Aug. 11, there is new reason to be optimistic about transformative national action on climate and energy. These pioneering women will work to shift priorities to ensure climate and energy policy is fair, just and inclusive.
Today, it is anything but.
Low-income communities and people of color suffer the most from our current fossil fueled energy system and from the climate disruptions that this system has caused. The fossil fuel industry, mostly led by white men, generates huge profits while strategically dismissing and denying the dangers.
Black Americans are more likely to live in the shadow of oil refineries and coal-fired power plants, and to get sick and die from breathing polluted air. Lacking parks and green space, many low-income neighborhoods bake during heat waves, the deadliest impact of climate change.