Protégete launches the first Colorado Latino Climate Justice Policy Handbook
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The handbook addresses the deep impacts of the climate crisis on the Latino communities and provides data-driven solutions
DENVER —Protégete, Conservation Colorado’s program to support Latino environmental leadership, launched the 2022 Colorado Latino Climate Justice Policy Handbook on Nov.18. This handbook is the first of its kind in the state, aimed to inform and educate Latinos as well as policy and decision makers about the effects of the climate crisis on Latino communities.
Through compelling data, mapping, historical context, and insights drawn from lived experiences, it outlines the unique environmental challenges the Latino community faces and provides climate solutions that are critical for future wellbeing and resilience.
“In our research, we recognize that Latinos are not a monolith. We are very different — economically, politically, and racially. Continuing to create ‘catch all solutions’ won’t benefit all Latinos,” said Beatriz Soto, Protégete Director. “It’s imperative that Latinos have the information that is relevant for them to address climate and environmental justice from their unique lens and experiences.”
Many Latinos are already breathing higher amounts of industrial air pollution, which will only get worse with increasing heat due to climate change. Historically, racist policies and zoning laws have pushed Latino families to live near highways in neighborhoods that lack green space and tree cover, are impacted by pollution from gas-powered trucks and cars, and lack safe ways to bike, walk, and use public transit.
“We know that the vast majority of Latinos in our state support passing new regulations encouraging companies to reduce pollution. This is no surprise, as climate change is already impacting Colorado with hotter summers, shorter winters, and worse air pollution—and Latinos know they are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. It’s our job to ensure historically excluded communities of color are present at the decision-making tables,” said Kelly Nordini, Conservation Colorado’s CEO.
Latinos in Colorado make up a large part of the state’s workforce and are economic drivers, yet current climate solutions, investments and policies have been made without the Latino community’s participation.
“If we want to have a strong and resilient state, it’s important to recognize and address systemic issues that Latinos in Colorado have been facing for decades due to historical underinvestment, redlining and other intentional efforts to exclude this community. This handbook not only explains systemic environmental racism in a historical lens, but provides data-driven solutions,” added Soto. “When we design solutions through policy, rulemaking and investments, we must design them for all Coloradans.”
Conservation Colorado and Protégete will continue working to protect the air, land, water and all people across the state to ensure that our quality of life and environment are protected.
To read the full handbook visit https://conservationco.org/protegete/.