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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Equitable Adaptation to Extreme Heat Impacts of Climate Change

  • Author(s): Heger, Monica
  • et al.

Climate change has, and will continue to have, a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Already, it is clear that systemic racism has led to increased temperatures in predominantly Black neighborhoods as compared to white neighborhoods in the same cities. A legacy of discriminatory housing policies in California is correlated with worse air quality and health disparities, both of which could be further exacerbated as temperatures rise. As cities and states begin developing climate change adaptation plans, it is imperative that they develop equity-based solutions that take into account how discriminatory practices are leading to disproportionate climate impacts. If such impacts are not accounted for, they will be exacerbated in the future. This paper analyzes equity-based climate adaptation strategies for heat, which is already the deadliest weather-related disaster in the U.S., and how they could be applied to Los Angeles.

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