When a new U.S. administration begins in 2017, it should leverage the gains of President Obama’s administration by pursuing three key strategies to build resilience and improve climate equity in communities across the United States.
These strategies should be designed to support collaboration among federal, state, local, tribal, and nongovernmental partners:
- Improve access to low-carbon and resilient energy for all communities
- Enhance hard, soft, and natural infrastructure
- Embed principles of equitable, just climate resilience into all levels of federal decision-making
Climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and puts an additional public health and economic burden on low-income communities and communities of color already coping with hardships seeded by historic inequities.
These communities have been confronted with decades of federal, state, and local government decisions that have made housing less affordable and less resilient; limited transit options; and created pollution health hazards that have placed low-income communities and communities of color on the front lines of climate change effects.
The next administration has a responsibility to take immediate steps to strengthen climate resilience and promote climate justice in low-income areas and communities of color.
The next president must do this by enacting policies on climate change, energy, community relations, housing, infrastructure, and more. By adopting the strategies and actions recommended above, the next president would help improve the financial and climate resilience of all Americans.