USA - Creating a More Just Climate Future for Those on the Front Lines
The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act accounts for the unjust burden that climate change poses to communities of color.
The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act is the first major bill to prioritize racial equity in addressing the climate crisis. It takes important steps to advance equitable solutions for addressing climate threats to frontline communities of color that are bearing the brunt of climate impacts. Around the country, Tribal communities, and communities of color are hit first and worst by the dramatic changes we are seeing along our coasts—from rising seas to record-breaking hurricane and flood seasons. This bill recognizes these disparities and provides much needed funding to help these communities adapt.
Climate change is a threat-multiplier that is making our existing social and economic inequities even worse. Climate impacts are disproportionately borne by low-income communities and communities of color, which are more frequently located in low-lying flood-prone areas, and experience underinvestment, higher rates of pollution, and lower disaster aid payments as a result of racist housing, land-use, and other policies. Tribal communities that rely on natural resources for subsistence and culturally important hunting and fishing also face unique threats from climate change. They are disproportionately affected by both impacts to Tribal lands as well as degradation and loss of important coastal ecosystems.
Here are a few examples of the provisions included in the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act that seek to address the needs of these communities.
Enhancing community resilience
The bill would create a new $3 billion “shovel-ready” coastal restoration program that would prioritize assistance for those hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically low-income communities, communities of color, Tribal communities, rural communities, and fishing communities.