Poll: African Americans See Global Warming As A Major Threat

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Two-thirds of African Americans believe global warming is a serious issue, ranking it as one of four major challenges facing the black community.

Crime, economics and education rank as the most-serious issues and 60% of African Americans include global warming fourth on that list, according to a poll of 800 randomly selected African Americans taken nationwide in September.

Sixty-seven percent of Blacks want action taken to reduce the threat of global warming compared with 3% who argue concern about global warming is unwarranted. Thirteen percent of all Americans believe concern about global warming is unwarranted, the poll found.

The survey by the National Resources Defense Council and Green for All was released ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled to be held November 30 to December 15 in Paris. The NRDC is an international nonprofit environmental organization and Green for All’s goal is to make sure people of color have a place and a voice in the climate movement.

The Paris 2015 UN climate change conference is where governments will reach or attempt to reach a new and universal climate change agreement. It is not clear how, if at all, the recent terrorist murders in Paris in which 128 people were killed and 352 were wounded will affect the conference. Some events scheduled at the time of the massacre were cancelled.

In Paris, governments will focus on a range of issues, including clean energy, promoting climate-friendly homes in Sub-Saharan Africa and na-ture’s role in the environment.

According to the poll, 83 percent of African Americans back setting first-time limits on carbon pollution from coal-and gas- fired power plants under the Clean Power Plan’s standards that the Environmental Protection Agency finalized in August.

A majority of African Americans believe as the nation drives down dangerous pollution it can drive up the use of clean, renewable wind and solar energy.

Most African Americans count on this shift to clean energy to also create new jobs—six times the proportion that believes it will result in job losses. Some 57 percent believe that expanding clean energy will reduce—not raise—their energy costs.

The poll also revealed 87 percent support using more solar power and 83 percent want more wind energy.

Vien Truong, director of Green for All, which is based in Oakland, Calif., said; “This polling shows that communities of color care about climate change and want to be part of creating solutions to pollution. Climate change affects us all and hurt low-income communities and communities of color first and worst.”

This article originally published in the November 23, 2015 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.