Report IDs the Social Justice Impacts of Climate Change in New York

The Regional Plan Association and Make the Road New York teamed up to survey 400 people in the Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona neighborhoods of Queens—an area that is 58 percent Latino and where a third of the population lives within 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

The results, reported Wednesday, indicate that 70 percent of respondents were “very concerned” and 23 percent “somewhat concerned” about climate change.

As the report makes clear, there are plenty of reasons for that concern. Sea-level rise will make flooding more likely in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the recreational heart of the borough, and increase the possibility of sewer backups and other issues with real health effects. Severe storms threaten to disrupt school and work for communities that are ill-positioned to handle missing either, and where undocumented people might be nervous about applying for disaster aid (or ineligible for it). And then there’s the overlooked threat of severe heat, which, the report said, “is the biggest climate change-related threat facing New York City in terms of mortality.”

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