California seeks to transform its three most disadvantaged communities through its Transformative Climate Communities program. Photo: Courtesy of California Strategic Growth Council.

In places struggling with poverty and unemployment, carbon pollution is often not the number one concern. But with a new program, California plans to demonstrate that solutions to these problems can go hand in hand.

Hague: “We’ve got to tackle climate change and we have to tackle systemic poverty and environmental degradation in these really hard-hit communities and we have to do that simultaneously.”

Suzanne Hague is with the California Strategic Growth Council.

She says within five years, the state will invest $70 million in Fresno, a city with high levels of poverty, pollution, and health problems.

It’s the first of three locations that will receive state money as part of the Transformative Climate Communities Program.

Funds will be used to build urban parks, develop affordable housing near public transit, or improve water systems, among other projects.

”Hague: Click To Tweet

Hague: “All of the projects have to go through an analysis that determines how much greenhouse gas reductions they will produce.”

The goal is to provide economic and health benefits to city residents while also protecting the climate.

Hague: “Disadvantaged communities can and should and will be front and center in our approach to climate change.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Daisy Simmons

Daisy Simmons is a freelance writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience in research-driven storytelling. In addition to contributing to Yale Climate Connections since early 2016, she also...