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Ensuring Justice for Communities Impacted by Climate Change

stop sign with warning of extreme heat
Lucas·G / Wikicommons / CC BY 4.0
Nov 13, 2020


A new study, published in PLOS and partially funded by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment's Mentoring Undergraduates in Interdisciplinary Research (MUIR) Program, finds some disadvantaged communities in California may be overlooked for climate adaptation funds from the state. 

The researchers found that current approaches to assessing extreme heat impacts could result in nearly 350 communities missing out on the opportunity to benefit from the state’s fund portion of cap-and-trade auction proceeds.

"Climate change is a threat multiplier for both people and nature. It amplifies risks for communities already grappling with environmental hazards and social stressors. But getting adaptation right at the implementation stage, attuned to differential impacts and benefits across communities, is far from straightforward,” said Katharine Mach, associate professor in the Department of Marine Ecosystems and Society at the Rosenstiel School and a co-author of the study. “This analysis points to the importance of combining cross-cutting risk screening with attention to context—the hazards, the needs of communities, and the effectiveness of different resiliency strategies."

At the time this study began, Mach was a senior research scientist at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Environment Assessment Facility. Miyuki Hino, another co-author on the study, received her PhD from Stanford's Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.

This research was led by Lynée Turek-Hankins, a doctoral student at the University of Miami's Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. Funding for this work was also provided by the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami.

Read the full original press release - published Nov. 5, 2020 - here:

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