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Environmental Health

Understanding Links Between Climate and Poverty and Health and Geography 

Climate change is a global issue that affects people of all backgrounds, but its impact is especially severe on those living in poverty, on racial minorities and in rural communities.  These communities are often overlooked when it comes to climate change policies and initiatives, making it difficult for them to access the resources they need to adapt and mitigate climate change.

To address this systemic inequality, we need to focus on creating equitable access to resources and opportunities and creating policies that promote resilience and adaptation. We must also ensure that these communities are included in the development of climate change policies and are prioritized by public and private investment in solutions.

Many poor communities also face an unequal burden when it comes to climate change mitigation. For example, low-income communities are more likely to be located in areas with higher levels of air pollution from industrial facilities and transportation. This means they are more likely to suffer from the health impacts of climate change, such as asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses. In addition, poor communities are more likely to lack the resources and infrastructure needed to adapt to climate change, such as access to clean energy sources and efficient transportation.


Rural Communities also are disparately impacted by rising temperatures, increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and changes in precipitation patterns. In some areas, agricultural production is dramatically reduced, leading to food insecurity and increased poverty. Rural communities are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to their reliance on natural resources such as forests, rivers, and fisheries. As temperatures rise, the quality and quantity of these resources can be reduced, impacting the livelihoods of those who depend on them. In addition, extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, and storms can damage homes and infrastructure, further exacerbating the problems faced by rural communities.

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