RELEASE: City of Charlotte Needs a Climate Change Strategy That Helps Working-Class Communities, Says New CAP Report

Washington, D.C. — The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, should develop a comprehensive strategy for dealing with climate change that is centered around equity and racial justice, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

The report explains how rising global temperatures leave the region more vulnerable to debilitating heat waves, water crises, and storms that can lead to billions of dollars in damages. These harsh weather events can be particularly hard on the health, safety, and pocketbooks of the city’s working-class communities and communities of color.

“If Charlotte is to bridge its significant opportunity gap, then it needs a strategy to support communities who are facing higher financial and health costs due to more extreme weather,” said Miranda Peterson, research associate for energy and environment policy at CAP and author of the analysis.

The report outlines specific steps that city officials, business leaders, and the community can take to reduce carbon pollution, improve air and water quality, and reduce drought and flood risks. These include improving working-class communities’ access to energy from solar and wind, prioritizing green infrastructure, expanding access to affordable public transit, promoting energy efficiency in homes and businesses, and urging Charlotte’s corporate sector to transition to a low-carbon economy.

The report was formed through interviews with eight Charlotte-area leaders, including Rob Phocas, the city of Charlotte’s sustainability director, along with environmental advocates and environmental justice community organizers.

Click here to read “Making Charlotte a Climate-Ready and Just City” by Miranda Peterson.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Allison Preiss at apreiss@americanprogress.org or 202.478.6331.