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When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans 14 years ago, hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs, homes and possessions. But some people were hit harder than others. Nearly two-thirds of jobs lost after the hurricane were lost by women, and nearly 80 percent of the population of flooded neighborhoods were people of color.
Cities account for nearly 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (PDF) and many, such as New Orleans, are experiencing more instances of extreme weather, heat, droughts and flooding due to climate change. Climate change negatively affects poor communities, women, people with disabilities, indigenous groups and other marginalized populations the most. That’s why it’s so important for cities tackling climate change to engage with these frontline communities in the designing of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.
A new set of resources from WRI and C40 provides a roadmap for cities to assess equity in their climate action planning process — because urban climate action can help to address injustices inherent in climate change, but only if city governments put people at the center of their climate action planning process.