Climate justice will be a priority for Latinos in 2024

Studies have already shown that as climate change makes extreme weather events more common, Latinos often face the most significant effects on our health, safety, and livelihoods

California se enfoca en las mujeres para que estén listas para enfrentar cualquier emergencia.

California se enfoca en las mujeres para que estén listas para enfrentar cualquier emergencia. Crédito: Noah Berger | AP

In less than 300 days, nearly 36.2 million Latinos will have the privilege and responsibility of voting in presidential and congressional elections. Since the last presidential election, the Latino community has grown at the second fastest rate of all major racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. electorate.

It is projected that more than 17.5 million Latinos will go to the polls in November, a 6.5% increase from 2020. These numbers could have a significant impact where the margins to win a state like Nevada, Arizona, or Georgia are razor-thin. Our vote is decisive, and so are the reasons behind our vote. But what initiatives should we prioritize? The impact of climate change on our community is at the heart of our
vote.

Studies have already shown that as climate change makes extreme weather events more common, Latinos often face the most significant effects on our health, safety, and livelihoods.

Hispanic children are 40% more likely to die from asthma compared to non-Hispanic whites due to environmental factors that affect vulnerable populations. Therefore, this year, Latinos must learn where candidates stand on environmental contributors to pollution before voting, and urge prospective lawmakers to support solutions to combat the disproportionate risks of climate change our community faces.

Latinos are projected to represent 30% of the U.S. population by 2050, and more than half of our community lives in states with the highest risk of climate change. For this reason, approximately 8 in 10 U.S. Hispanics say that combating global climate change is one of their top concerns or one of the most important concerns on a personal level.

This figure comes as no surprise since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that Latinos are at a higher risk of experiencing heat waves, hurricanes, sea level rise, and flooding. We cannot miss the opportunity to raise awareness and make a significant change through our vote.

We are at a crucial moment for our community, as we have made historic progress on climate. The Clean Energy Plan is improving our future through economic relief for our families and unprecedented investments to combat pollution and climate change. As part of the President’s Plan, the Biden-Harris administration unveiled a $3 million grant for each state to develop innovative strategies to reduce climate pollution and create clean energy economies. The nation’s 67 most populous metropolitan areas will be eligible to receive $1 million for plans to combat climate pollution at the local level.

As mothers and Latinas working to improve our air and mitigate climate change, we cannot ignore the impacts of climate disruption on our communities. Let’s tell our elected officials and candidates that it is time to combat climate change.

(*) Isabel Gonzalez Whitaker, Director, EcoMadres and Antonieta Cadiz, Deputy Executive Director, Climate Power En Acción.

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Cambio climático Elecciones 2024 Voto Latino

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