"Our concern here I think is fairly obvious. Black folks are both more likely to live in the places where heat waves are the most severe, and when they occur, we are more likely to face grave consequences," said Benjamin Todd Jealous, the CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, on the call with reporters today.
The report, which also warns of major wildlife extinctions and risks to crops from extreme heat, calls for reducing emissions 80 percent from current levels by 2050, which is consistent with the targets in major climate legislation moving through Congress.
But it also calls for specific steps to make cities "cooler and greener," such as more reflective and light-colored roofing to help reduce the "urban heat island" effect, as well as more green space such as parks, trees and "green roofs."
Other recommendations include better urban preparation and response to heat waves, such as improved public notification and outreach to the elderly, poor and homeless.
To help wildlife, the report calls for habitat restoration and wildlife management approaches that can help shield species from extreme heat, such as stream-shading vegetation to help cool waters and protect fish.
Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500