Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) released on Wednesday a plan to combat climate change while addressing “environmental racism,” the concept that climate change disproportionately affects minority communities.
Warren’s plan would invest $1.5 trillion in technologies and job training programs designed to address global warming. The funds will be disproportionately allocated to impoverished communities, which, Warren argues, will suffer immediate economic disruption due to climate change.
“Our crisis of environmental injustice is the result of decades of discrimination and environmental racism compounding in communities that have been overlooked for too long,” the new plan states. “It is the result of multiple choices that put corporate profits before people, while our government looked the other way. It is unacceptable, and it must change.”
The plan builds off an earlier initiative in which the presidential hopeful pledged $3 trillion over ten years to fight global warming. The new plan draws on the “Principles of Environmental Justice” agreed upon by the 1991 National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit.
The details of the plan include proposals for retraining workers in fossil fuel industries, such as coal miners and oil rig workers, for jobs considered to be more environmentally friendly. “Workers should not be forced to make an impossible choice between fossil fuel industry jobs with superior wages and benefits and green economy jobs that pay far less,” the plan states.
Warren is leading the Democratic primary field in polling, ahead of Joe Biden by a slim margin.
Warren is currently facing questions over her account of her firing from a job at a public school when she was 22. While she claimed in a recent interview with CBS that she was fired due to her pregnancy, in 2007 she said she left the job of her own volition in order to care for her baby.