Environmental Justice and Climate Change

Our Vision

We believe our lives and our planet are inextricably bound together. As climate disasters such as hurricanes, flooding and wildfires continue to grow in strength and frequency, and as public health is threatened by growing levels of pollutants in our air and water, we must take urgent action on climate change.

What's at Stake

President Trump has enacted policies that harm the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the environment we all depend upon. As SEIU members know well from our experience in our own communities, climate change disproportionately affects working people, the poor, and people of color. As president, Trump:

  • Pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, an international commitment to halt climate change, killing the creation of new industries and jobs that could give communities the boost they need to thrive, in favor of corporate polluters.
  • Rolled back or is working to unravel 78 environmental measures that keep our air and water clean, reduce emissions that cause climate change, make resource extraction safer for workers and our land, reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, and protect endangered species and public lands.
  • Proposed cutting the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31 percent.
  • Weakened accountability for corporations responsible for rampant pollution.
  • Called climate change a “hoax,” claimed wind turbines cause cancer, and denied his own administration’s climate change research.

Looking Ahead

We need a president committed to combating climate change in a way that protects our planet, raises standards for working people, and addresses the needs of low income communities and people of color who are most affected.

Joe Biden would take immediate action to address climate change and has pledged to:

  • Support major tenets of the Green New Deal, which was endorsed by our union, and aims to tackle climate change while creating millions of good union jobs. It also promotes environmental policies that address economic inequality and racial justice.
  • Invest 2 trillion dollars over four years to build the infrastructure we need for clean energy, transportation and more while creating good paying union jobs and investing in low income communities.
  • Stand up to the abuse of power by polluters who disproportionately harm communities of color and low income communities – which are also more likely to be affected by severe weather and other negative effects of climate change.
  • Ensure access to safe drinking water, invest in renewable energy, and transition to 100% clean energy by 2035 and close to zero carbon emissions by 2050.
of the 18 warmest years ever recorded have occurred since 2000
million people are currently vulnerable to climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events, and sea-level rise
million people worldwide die from air pollution every year

What's at Stake