news releases

25 September 2019

United Nations Climate Report Emphasizes the Need for Action, Underscores Disproportionate Impact Felt by Latinos in the U.S.

Category: News Releases

Today, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its first ever stand-alone report regarding oceans and cryosphere, portions of the Earth’s surface where water is in solid form.

In response to the report, which underscores that we will need to adapt to changes we can no longer avoid and act immediately to prevent catastrophic changes, Hispanic Access Foundation President and CEO Maite Arce released the following statement:
“Our oceans are what make life possible on Earth. From absorbing heat and carbon dioxide to providing a system responsible for the majority of oxygen we breathe; oceans are critical to communities throughout the nation and the world. However, the ocean and cryosphere is reaching a breaking point, in which the impacts of climate change will become irreversible and the future for millions of people whose livelihoods and communities depend on these resources is uncertain.
“While Latinos in the United States are disproportionately experiencing the effects of climate change, the warming of our oceans, and the intensification and increased frequency of extreme weather events, if we don’t act urgently now, we are risking the lives and stability of millions of people across the globe.
“The decline of snowpack from rising global temperatures is not only leading to drought, dwindling water supplies and disruptions in agricultural production, but it is also contributing to a more arid climate and drier vegetation creating ideal conditions for the unprecedented levels of wildfires occurring in our western states. The warming of Earth’s oceans is leading to more and more hurricanes and extreme weather that is debilitating communities - from housing availability, transportation and utility infrastructure to health services, tourism, jobs and economic security.
“We need action now that results in a substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, protection of the ocean’s ability to mitigate climate change and the implementation of adaptation strategies that will increase the ocean’s resilience to climate change.”
Since its founding in 2010, HAF has nurtured the Latino community’s strong connection to the natural environment by designing programs for Latino families and youth to engage in outdoor experiences, including camping, whitewater rafting, and hiking in National Parks and areas under consideration for National Monument designation. HAF shepherded the groundbreaking formation of Por La Creación Faith-Based Alliance, a coalition of Latino faith leaders dedicated to developing stewards of God’s creation by engaging and educating this generation to leave a legacy for the future. HAF’s initiative Latino Conservation Week was celebrated with more than 160 events nationally designed to engage Latinos with the outdoors and encourage their roles as environmental stewards.

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