Why do African American families use less energy than white households, but pay more for it—literally and figuratively? It’s true. The average African American family emits 20% less carbon dioxide than the average white household does, yet we are more susceptible to increases in energy and water costs that result from climate change. As extreme weather events like blizzards, droughts, and heat waves become almost routine, more and more black families can’t afford to heat and cool their homes. Communities of color also pay more of the hidden costs of our fossil-fuel based economy. Climate change has an outsized impact on the health and economic security of African American families, who are far more likely to breathe polluted air and live next to sources of pollution like coal plants.
KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Diversity and Human Resources, International Living Future institute (ILFI), environmental justice, Racial Justice, Clean Energy, green power