The challenges of poverty do not stop at wages and jobs.
As we face the moral, scientific, and economic crisis of a changing climate, people living in poverty are already on the front lines experiencing the negative impacts. Climate change will make access and affordability to food, energy, water, and quality air much harder. Rising seas, rivers and water threaten 21% of Philadelphia’s land – and will squeeze out people who cannot pay for increased housing costs.
We can, and must, act to challenge this impending climate catastrophe that is fueled by an inequitable economy and will exacerbate the challenges of poverty in our city. Thankfully, if our public and private institutions invested in a climate-just economy that provides family-sustaining Green Jobs for residents and economic ownership opportunities for communities, we could lift 20% of families out of poverty. That is 15,000 jobs over a 10 year time frame that could lift anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 people out of poverty.
Last year, POWER set a goal of ending poverty in Philadelphia in 10 years. Investment in Green Jobs is one-fifth of the way there. But we need action.