Institute of Politics

The Fire This Time: City Mayors Grapple with Climate Change Costs to Their Communities

The Fire This Time: City Mayors Grapple with Climate Change Costs to Their Communities
  • Date & Time

    Apr 20, 2022

    5:30 PM - 6:45 PM CST

  • Location

    Ida Noyes Cloister Club

    1212 E. 59th St. Chicago,

Many of America’s most populous regions are reeling from the effects of climate change, from rising sea levels, increased flooding, extreme heat, and a surge in wildfires and hurricanes. At the same time, the nation’s biggest cities within those regions are home to a higher proportion of communities of color.

Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report that highlighted how racial and ethnic minority communities face the most severe harms from climate change. Black Americans are 34 percent more likely to live in areas with the highest rates of childhood asthma while Latinos are 43 percent more likely to reside in areas with the highest projected reductions in labor hours due to extreme temperatures. 

Throughout the country, mayors, often pressed by climate advocates, have attempted to address the crisis with modest policies designed to the improve health of residents and local economies.

But can this patchwork approach mitigate the threat that climate change poses to those living in large cities? How can communities of color in America’s major metropolitan areas be better positioned to brace for the impact of climate change?

Joining us for a conversation about the effects of climate change on cities and communities of color are:

IOP Pritzker Fellow Keisha Lance Bottoms, former Atlanta mayor (2018-2012) Heather McTeer Toney, former Pritzker Fellow, EPIC Policy Fellow, vice president of community engagement at the Environmental Defense Fund, former mayor of Greenville, Mississippi (2004-2011)

Dr. Sabina Shaikh, director of the University of Chicago Program on the Global Environment will moderate the discussion.   

If you have any questions about accessibility, please contact Christine Hurley.

This event is being produced in partnership with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Program on the Global Environment.

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