An Introduction to Adaptation and Equity

Climate change is often described as a threat multiplier - and this applies to social inequities. For example, people already struggling to find affordable housing will face more difficulty if extreme weather damages a significant number of units. Explore the resources below to better understand how climate change will have disproportionate impacts on people of color, low-income individuals, and other groups on the "frontlines" of climate change. Also, learn some of the strategies being used to address disproportionate risks.

 

 

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Surviving and Thriving in the Face of Rising Seas: Building Resilience for Communities on the Front Lines of Climate Change

November 2015

From the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), this report explores the increased risks faced by socially vulnerable populations to sea-level rise.  Building on prior research finding that elderly, minorities, and poor populations will be disproportionately affected by climate change, the paper presents an analytical framework for identifying “climate equity hotspots,” or places where socially vulnerable people live that are also at high risk for coastal flooding.

Related Organizations: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Rachel Cleetus, Ramon Bueno, Kristina Dahl

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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USGCRP Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S. - Society

June 2009

This report is one of seven sector-specific chapters from the United States Global Change Research Program's 2009 National Climate Assessment, "Global Climate Change Impacts in the U. S. "  The 'Society' chapter synthesizes current and projected impacts from climate change to society in the U. S. The chapter emphasizes several key messages: population shifts and development choices are making more Americans vulnerable to the expected impacts of climate change; vulnerability is greater for those who have few resources and few choices; city residents and city infrastructure have unique vulnerabilities to climate change; climate change affects communities through changes in climate-sensitive resources that occur both locally and at great distances; and that the insurance industry is particularly vulnerable to increasing extreme weather events such as severe storms, but it can also help society manage the risks.

Related Organizations: U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans and How to Close the Gap

July 2009

This assessment and policy report argues that climate change has important justice and human right implications because poor neighborhoods and people of color will suffer more than other segments of the population, creating what they call “the climate gap”. Using data from California, the authors write about how vulnerable populations will be adversely affected by climate change, exacerbating current inequities.  While the report includes policy recommendations for the whole nation, it is a reaction to public health, equity, and regulatory issues pertinent to The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) in California that was implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Rachel Morello-Frosh, Manuel Pastor, James Sadd, Seth B. Shonkoff

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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