Black Lives Matter and Climate Change

ACE wanted to respond to a letter and poem in the Craven Herald 25 June “Racism eats away at your core as a human”. You may have seen it in this week’s edition (2 July). If not, it’s reproduced here…

‘I’m also concerned that people of colour are more likely to be affected by the climate crisis, and yet they are often missing from the debate.

This was well illustrated in January when Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate was cropped out of a picture she posed for in Davos, Switzerland, alongside Greta Thunberg and several other white climate change campaigners. It started a global debate about how the voices of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people are erased from the climate justice campaign, a movement which is seen by some as a white middle-class campaign. It also raises the questions about how climate change impacts on Black Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups.

Basically, global warming is going to kill people of colour who live in the global south.Poorer populations of countries in the southern hemisphere will face the greatest hardship from climate change due to extreme heat and weather events, unstable food systems, conflict, and migration. That means those least responsible for the problem, those who live in nations that have only emitted a small amount of carbon dioxide, are those that will be most harmed

In Britain Covid-19 has highlighted extreme health inequalities with those from BAME and lower socio-economic groups suffering more severe forms of the illness and a higher death rate including amongst health professionals. It is also true that air pollution levels are generally found to be higher in deprived areas where the population includes large numbers of BAME groups, with consequent higher levels of respiratory illnesses and deaths.

While it is clear that climate change is a big threat to people everywhere, it is the biggest threat to BAME groups. If you care about peoples’ lives and those of future generations we must deal with the climate crisis as a matter of urgency..

Barry White Acting Secretary ACE’.

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