Earth Week 2024: A Second Trump term Could Be Disastrous for Latinos Who Disproportionately Suffer the Effects of Pollution and Climate Change

While Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and promises to roll back the progress President Biden has achieved to protect our planet, we are reminded once again that Trump does not care about Latinos, who are disproportionately affected by climate change. DNC Hispanic Media Director Marco Frieri released the following statement highlighting what’s at stake for Latino families across the country:

“For Latinos, there has never been an ounce of doubt that climate change is real. Not when we see our children suffering from asthma attacks as a result of air pollution or lose work hours – and thus pay – due to record-breaking heat. It’s clear our community is disproportionately impacted by the effects of pollution and climate change. So, when Trump calls climate change a ‘hoax,’ pushes dangerous climate conspiracy theories, and does everything in his power to dismantle basic environmental protections, we know that he is putting our lives and our livelihoods in danger. President Biden is tackling the climate crisis by investing in new, sustainable industries that protect jobs and our planet through the most ambitious environmental and climate legislation in American history, the Inflation Reduction Act. Latinos deserve a president who will deliver real climate solutions and prioritize environmental justice – only Joe Biden is that president.”

Trump’s vow to roll back the Inflation Reduction Act – and his refusal to even acknowledge the reality of climate change – is a threat to Latinos, who are more likely to live in areas with higher levels of exposure to air pollution.

Financial Times: “Donald Trump would gut Joe Biden’s landmark IRA climate law if elected”

“Donald Trump is planning to gut US President Joe Biden’s landmark climate law, increase investment in fossil fuels and roll back regulations aimed at accelerating the transition to electric vehicles if he is elected next year. … The Inflation Reduction Act — the centerpiece of Biden’s economic strategy, with $369bn in tax breaks and subsidies for clean energy — would be in Trump’s crosshairs.”

New York Times: “Moreover, Mr. Trump’s rollbacks of emissions policies have come at a critical moment: Over the past four years, the global level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere crossed a long-feared threshold of atmospheric concentration. Now, many of the most damaging effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, deadlier storms, and more devastating heat, droughts and wildfires, are irreversible.”

American Lung Association: “A study released this year by Harvard University reinforced what experts have known for some time, that air pollution in predominantly Latino zip codes is 14% higher than predominantly white areas for fine particulate matter and other contaminants.”

Vox: “Blacks and Hispanics on average bear a ‘pollution burden’ of 56% and 63% excess exposure, respectively, relative to the exposure caused by their consumption.”

The Guardian: “People of color in the American north-east and mid-Atlantic are living with 66% more air pollution from vehicles than white residents are, according to a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). On average, African Americans are exposed to 61% more of the tiny pollution particles that come from burning gasoline. Asian Americans breathe 73% more and Latinos 75% more.”

Latinos are also more likely to suffer from the economic and health impacts of climate change and air pollution.

Environmental Protection Agency: “Hispanic and Latino individuals are 43% more likely than non-Hispanic and non-Latino individuals to currently live in areas with the highest projected labor hour losses in weather-exposed industries due to climate-driven increases in high-temperature days.”

Environmental Protection Agency: “Hispanic and Latino individuals are also 50% more likely to live in coastal areas with the highest projected increases in traffic delays from climate-driven changes in high-tide flooding.”

National Resources Defense Council: “A majority [of Latinos] live in California, Texas, Florida and New York, states that are among the most affected by extreme heat, air pollution, and flooding. Latinos are heavily represented in crop and livestock production and construction, where they’re at elevated risk from climate-change-boosted extreme heat. They are three times more likely to die on the job from excessive heat than non-Latinos. Latinos generally have less health insurance coverage than non-Latinos, so they struggle to access health care when afflicted by climate-related illnesses.”

Latinos are poised to benefit economically and environmentally from President Biden’s actions to deliver a clean energy economy that works for all, and through programs like the Justice40 initiative.

White House Fact Sheet: “The Inflation Reduction Act recognizes that climate change disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. The law: Creates Environmental Justice Block Grants, and a dedicated program to tackle pollution in port communities – where air pollution is especially dense and deadly. Funds a range of programs to reduce air pollution, including for fenceline monitoring and screening near industrial facilities, air quality sensors in disadvantaged communities, new and upgraded multipollutant monitoring sites, and monitoring and mitigation of methane and wood heater emissions. Protects our children with investments to monitor and reduce at public schools in disadvantaged communities.”

White House: “What is the Justice40 initiative? For the first time in our nation’s history, the Federal government has made it a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.”

Associated Press: “EPA offers $2B to clean up pollution, develop clean energy in poor and minority communities”

“The climate law authorized $3 billion for underserved communities burdened by pollution, including $1 billion that has already been allocated.”

Center for American Progress: “The Biden administration has upheld its promise to confront the nation’s ugly past, redressing consequential harms with actions that are improving the lives of Latinos across America.

“Within the first two years of his administration, President Joe Biden signed two executive orders dedicated to advancing racial equity and doubled down on equity commitments by signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. Together, these laws injected trillions of dollars into the economy, creating more equity and opportunities for communities of color.” 

Washington Post: “‘The largest climate change bill in history’ No argument here. Virtually no climate-change legislation had been previously approved by Congress, except for tax credits for renewable energy and other relatively minor items.”

The Biden-Harris administration has rescinded Trump-era environmental rules that worsened the impacts of pollution in Latino communities, and President Biden and Vice President Harris restored key protections that Trump eliminated.

Politico: “Biden’s EPA launches crackdown on planet-warming methane”

“The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled sweeping new regulations targeting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector on Saturday, a significant milestone for President Joe Biden’s strategy for curbing the pollution driving up the Earth’s temperatures.”

U.S. Department of State: “On January 20, on his first day in office, President Biden signed the instrument to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement. Per the terms of the Agreement, the United States officially becomes a Party again today. The Paris Agreement is an unprecedented framework for global action. We know because we helped design it and make it a reality. Its purpose is both simple and expansive: to help us all avoid catastrophic planetary warming and to build resilience around the world to the impacts from climate change we already see.”

The Biden-Harris administration has cleaned up pollution in communities of color, spurred clean energy investment in Latino communities, and achieved major success in fighting climate change.

CNBC: “The [Inflation Reduction Act], which President Joe Biden signed into law in August, is the most aggressive climate investment ever taken by Congress and is expected to slash the country’s planet-warming carbon emissions by about 40% this decade and move the country toward a net-zero economy by 2050.”

Bloomberg: “Between last August, when President Joe Biden’s landmark climate bill became law, and the end of January, companies have announced more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in the US, according to an analysis released Monday by the nonprofit advocacy group Climate Power.”

Associated Press: “Fighting global warming is one of the areas where Biden has had the most success. The Inflation Reduction Act includes nearly $375 billion for climate change, much of it going toward financial incentives for electric cars, clean energy and other initiatives. Biden is also pushing stricter regulations on vehicles and power plants.”