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NAACP says concern about climate change is a civil rights issue
National group is among those watching whether Ohio freezes renewable energy standards

Andy Chow
Ohio's standards were passed to lessen reliance on fossil fuels and boost renewables like solar.
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Climate change has been a big topic nationally, and groups concerned about it are watching what Ohio lawmakers do next week with a push to freeze the state’s energy standards. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, that includes a group that says climate change is a civil rights issue.

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The NAACP says minority communities are disproportionately hurt by the effects of climate change. Jacqueline Patterson is the group’s environmental policy director.

She says 68 percent of African Americans live near coal-fired power plants and are therefore more likely exposed to carbon emissions.

“We tie all of this to our civil rights agenda in terms of people’s rights to clean air and clean water, safe living conditions, the right to work, freedom from discrimination in terms of access to public goods — all of these are impacted by both climate change and disproportionate exposure to environmental impact.”

Patterson, who was in Columbus today to discuss the NAACP’s view on climate change, says the answer to is to aggressively shift away from fossil-fuel dependence.


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