The report, titled “Impacts of Climate Change on Black Populations in the United States,” takes an in-depth look at how extreme weather adversely impacts the lives of Black people. According to the report, “Black populations are particularly vulnerable to physical-hazard exposure, since they are concentrated in areas especially susceptible to extreme weather.”
Most Black people in the United States are concentrated in the Southeastern United States, along the Gulf Coast region stretching from Texas to Florida, CNN reported. The mapping also includes Maryland and Virginia. The report also cautions that as climate change worsens in Black communities, food deserts—or as some food justice advocates describe those areas, “food apartheid areas”—will only get worse as income inequality deepens, further exacerbating the gaps in access to healthy food.
The risks of hurricanes are also heavily concentrated in the South, East, and Southeastern United States, which is where Black populations are more densely concentrated. According to the report, “Because tropical storms affect the Gulf and Atlantic coasts the most, our analysis shows that Black communities in the Southeast are 1.8 times more likely than the overall U.S. population in the same area to experience hurricanes.”
According to the report, “Redlined neighborhoods tend to be “concrete jungles” where the water from flooding cannot be absorbed. They are also often located near brownfields where contaminated runoff from flooding could threaten public health.”
The report recommends, among other possible solutions, that “a concerted effort at understanding the impact of climate risk for Black workers, business owners, consumers, savers, and residents can help the private and public sectors identify racial gaps, allow for timely adaptation to build resilience against physical risks, and enable equitable access to climate finance opportunities.”
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Source: Black Enterprise