NAACP Claims Climate Change Is Civil Rights Issue

May 23, 2014

Climate change has recently been a prevalent item of discussion in the nation, and groups concerned about it are watching Ohio and its energy standards law. 

As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, that includes a national group which claims climate change is a civil rights issue.

The NAACP says minority communities are disproportionately hurt by the effects of climate change. Jacqueline Patterson is the group’s environmental policy director.

She says 68% of African Americans live near coal-fired power plants and are therefore more likely exposed to carbon emissions.

Patterson: “We tie all of this to our civil rights agenda in terms of people’s rights to clean air and clean water—safe living conditions—the right to work—freedom from discrimination in terms of access to public goods—all of these are impacted by both climate change and disproportionate exposure to environmental impact.”

Patterson, who was in Columbus Friday to discuss the NAACP’s view on climate change, says the answer to this civil rights issue is to aggressively shift away from fossil fuels dependence.