The Climate Crisis Is a Health Emergency
And a Community Investing Opportunity
by Ebony Perkins of UHC and formerly with Self-Help Credit Union
Investors are also strategically using their investments to support communities that are currently experiencing the direct effects of climate change in their everyday lives. Community development financial institutions have received a surge of investments in the last decade. Yet, investments in community investing institutions are still only 1.6% of the $16.6 trillion in ESG incorporated assets. Many communities are in crisis mode as they face mounting health issues and even death because of climate change.
Though we’ve made progress in the fight against climate change, we must remain persistent and continue to protect our most vulnerable populations — low-income and minority communities — feel the effects of our declining planet before the general population because they often lack the resources to shield them from the inevitable chain of events that occur resulting from environmental decline and failing infrastructure. They experience the effects of climate change at higher rates, are plagued by water contamination, and are more often located near landfills and hazardous waste sites than other groups. These groups are robbed of the chance to live and raise their families in safe communities where they can enjoy healthy food, drink safe water, and breathe clean air.
In the future, investors will tailor their strategy in the fight against climate change to address the growing health problems vulnerable communities face. Some institutional investors are already investing in affordable housing that provides safe, environmentally-friendly living conditions. Others are increasing diversity in healthcare so patients experiencing environmentally-caused health conditions can work with a doctor or other healthcare professionals that can both identify with their plight and meet their needs.