Whether in the United States or around the world, the impacts of climate change and the pollution that comes with burning fossil fuels fall hardest on people with the least resources to survive and recover from sudden disasters or long term toxic emissions. The transition to a renewable energy infrastructure will itself require changes that can be disruptive. Climate justice means that the concerns and needs of impacted and front line communities are at the forefront of solutions to the climate crisis.
Jo Ann Hardesty is President of NAACP Portland Branch 1120, Principal Partner of Consult Hardesty, a former Oregon state legislator, and co-host of Voices from the Edge on KBOO radio. She is active in networks and alliances for environmental and social justice.