March 20, 2023
After decades of warnings from scientists and activists, the climate crisis is no longer a prognosis of what is to come, it is the definitive reality of our world. In the last 50 years, global carbon emissions have risen by 90%, and this past April marked the highest recorded levels of CO2 in human history.Our use of fossil fuels is costing us our lives. Each year, we are experiencing the rapidly increasing effects of this industry-caused crisis: intense droughts and heatwaves, stronger and more frequent hurricanes, increased flooding from risingseas, blazing wildfires, and more.While corporations and the wealthy are responsible for the continued production of the carbon emissions that drive climate change, Black, Indigenous, Latiné, low-income communities, and the global south —the people who have the lowest carbon footprint—are the most impacted by the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Black people, in particular, are 75% more likely than white people to reside near incinerators, coal power stations, or in low-lying areas at risk of flooding.Because of historic environmental racism, disinvestment, poor infrastructure, and lack of resources, these communities are far less equipped to prepare for and recover from climate disasters, placing them at far greater risk of the multitude of traumas that climate disasters unleash. Accordingly, these communities are also on the frontlines of the very work needed to transform the crisis. As the largest network of grassroots organizations in the US, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and our 48 affiliates play a vital role in building the power necessary to tackle the climate crisis. CPD's affiliate organizations are based in the very Black, Latiné, and low-income communities that are most disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. For nearly a decade, the community organizations of the CPD network have fought for and won significant change at the federal, state, and local levels—all while being significantly under-resourced for this work.