Putting Racial Justice at the Heart of Climate Action: A U.S. and U.K. Perspective

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Climate change, racial injustice, the coronavirus pandemic, and economic inequality have formed interlocking crises that threaten the health, safety, and well-being of communities of color across the globe. Racist policies and institutions, stemming from legacies of slavery and colonization, have burdened Black and brown neighborhoods with disproportionate amounts of air and water pollution. These same communities battling pollution’s disparate health effects are often simultaneously on the front lines of pollution’s other catastrophic effect: climate change. Sea level rise, heat waves, and storms are becoming more intense—and more deadly—as the climate crisis worsens.

But just as the root causes of racism and the climate crisis are interwoven, so are the solutions. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, young people, especially young people of color, are calling for their leaders to take bold climate action that prioritizes an equitable economic recovery centered on racial justice. As the United States and United Kingdom turn their sights toward the Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22, it is critical that both climate justice and racial justice are a part of developing a road map for recovery.

Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion on the interconnected nature of pursuing racial justice and climate justice—in both the American and British contexts—through a conversation between British Member of Parliament David Lammy and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).

We would love to hear your questions. Please submit any questions for our distinguished panel via email at CAPeventquestions@americanprogress.org or on Twitter using #AJustClimate. Live captioning will be available on Zoom and on the YouTube livestream.

Distinguished panelists:
David Lammy, Labour Member of Parliament for Tottenham
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)

Moderator:
John Podesta, Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors, Center for American Progress