news releases

23 September 2020

Latino Faith Leaders Show Support of Climate Action to Congress

Category: News Releases

Latino faith leaders from Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF)’s network recently connected with elected officials in Washington D.C. virtually to discuss why Congress should turn the climate action plan proposed by the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (SCCC) into legislation. They shared the importance of climate change policy and its impact on Latino communities. 

“Climate action and nature protection are two paths forward that can reduce the risk of future natural disasters and disease outbreaks, while keeping families safe, employed, and healthier in their homes,” said Shanna Edberg, director of conservation at HAF. “If targeted equitably, these solutions can help heal long-standing disparities that are causing communities of color to become sicker from the pandemic.” 

The Climate Crisis Action Plan is a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for congressional action to satisfy the scientific and moral imperatives to reduce carbon pollution as quickly as possibly, make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change and build a durable, equitable clean energy economy. The Senate Special Committee on the Climate Crisis has also issued a report on The Case for Climate Action with a corresponding set of recommendations.

“COVID-19 symptoms are made more severe by air pollution, and Latino communities are disproportionately likely to be breathing in polluted air every day,” said Edberg. “Climate action will reduce air pollution caused by coal power plants and vehicles running on gasoline or diesel fuel. The goals of having a healthy climate and keeping people safe from the pandemic are aligned.” 

With the California wildfires sweeping through the state our leaders represent, climate change is as important as ever. According to a report by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, most Latinos support climate action and it affects the way they vote. The report found that 81% of Latino voters consider issues involving clean water, clean air, wildlife and public lands to be important in deciding whether to support an elected public official, and a vast of 60% Latinos would vote for a candidate for public office because of their position on global warming.

“Adopting the recommendations of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis – turning this action plan into legislation, and then into law would be a dramatic but doable first step,” said Edberg. “Our communities are in need of a way forward, for today, for our heritage, and for future generations”

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