By Johnny Magdaleno.
If you’re poor in the United States, chances are you live in a neighborhood withhigher amounts of harmful air particles than communities with higher incomes. That means more stress, more health problems and more medical bills eating away at your monthly paycheck, according to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).
So when Nicole Capretz, executive director of the San Diego-based Climate Action Campaign, and other environmental leaders sat down to pen the city’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), they knew that to lift disadvantaged communities out of the smog, they’d also have to plot a way to lift them above the poverty line.
The CAP, which debuted in December, got wall-to-wall coverage for being the first municipal climate plan in the United States to make its goals legally binding.
But after the plan’s architects wrapped up the technical part, which promises a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gases and a city that’s running on 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, Capretz says it felt clear that something was missing.