NC Resilence Plan Focuses on Climate Justice
Thursday, June 11, 2020
RALEIGH, N.C. -- In the wake of a slew of disastrous hurricanes over the past few years, North Carolina now has joined Florida, New Jersey and New York in creating a statewide climate risk and resilience plan.
Will McDow, director of resilient landscapes for the Environmental Defense Fund, says the plan makes clear North Carolinians can expect worse floods, more thunderstorms, continued sea-level rise, and more extreme heat.
McDow says the plan, which has a chapter dedicated to environmental justice, outlines factors that make low-income and minority communities more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
"That chapter makes clear that not all of our communities are facing these challenges equally," he points out. "The communities that have the highest impact often have the least resources to deal with them, or to plan and prepare."
The report notes that existing inequities in environmental health exposures will continue to be exacerbated by climate change, and says older adults, children, low-income earners, communities of color and veterans are disproportionately harmed.
McDow says frontline communities tend to experience multiple environmental impacts of a changing climate at the same time.
"So a community might have increased air pollution, increased truck traffic, and also be in a low-lying area more likely to be flooded," he explains.
McDow says local governments need climate-resilience planning boards to help ensure communities are taking the right steps.
"Thinking through how we can increase local capacity for communities to understand their vulnerabilities, prepare workable solutions that work for their local area, and begin to implement those, is going to be a critical piece going forward."
In addition to funneling more money into climate science and resilience projects, the report's authors say North Carolina will need to boost its emergency management and public services, as those sectors will need more resources to address the impacts of future extreme weather events.
Reporting by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the Park Foundation.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Advocates for people with disabilities in New York are pushing for the federal budget resolution to include $400 billion in Medicaid …
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Freshwater mussels are key to keeping the Chesapeake Bay watershed clean, and with more than half of all species now facing …
BUFFALO, Wyo. -- The doors of five historic community halls across Johnson and Sheridan counties were opened this past weekend for 15 people curious …
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Massive wildfires in the Western U.S. and Canada have triggered poor air quality in North Carolina over the past few weeks, and …
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Farmworkers are in Olympia today, calling for stronger protections from extreme heat. The farmworkers union Familias Unidas por la …
BOISE, Idaho -- Rallies are taking place across the Northwest to support salmon, which face dire conditions in the Columbia River Basin. Saturday…
IXONIA, Wis. -- The public comment period has ended, but opponents of proposed natural gas storage facilities in southeastern Wisconsin still hope to …
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvanians are growing worried about the environmental consequences of natural-gas drilling in the state, according to a new …