The Color of Climate

Here’s What Biden’s Climate Plan Means for Environmental Justice

Environmental justice activists from around the United States analyze President-elect Joe Biden’s plans for the climate and environment

Drew Costley
Future Human
Published in
6 min readNov 25, 2020

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President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris walk on stage wearing masks.
Photo: Mark Makela/Stringer/Getty Images

This is The Color of Climate, a weekly column from Future Human exploring how climate change and other environmental issues uniquely impact the future of communities of color.

At the last presidential debate in October, NBC news anchor and debate moderator Kristen Welker asked Donald Trump and Joe Biden a series of questions about climate change, and how oil refineries and chemical plants affect the health of people of color.

It was the first time the moderator of a presidential debate had ever asked about environmental justice, according to Judith Enck, a former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In response, Trump claimed that people in those communities are “employed heavily and making a lot of money — more money than they’ve ever made” but ignored the impact of pollution altogether. Biden’s response actually acknowledged the impact of industrial sites on people of color, relating it to his experience growing up near such facilities in…

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Drew Costley
Future Human

Drew Costley is a Staff Writer at FutureHuman covering the environment, health, science and tech. Previously @ SFGate, East Bay Express, USA Today, etc.