Nevada Environmental Justice Coalition

Nevada State Climate Initiative statement: Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter

Ensuring Climate Justice is centered in Nevada’s Climate Plan means prioritizing those most impacted by climate change when drafting solutions. This means listening to front line communities by breaking the mold of traditional community outreach and empowering those already feeling the impact to be in the room where the decisions are made.

In Nevada, frontline communities are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. They often live in hotter places because of the urban heat island effect, experiencing the worst of our pollution from our car-dependent communities by having major highways and roads cut through their communities. How will the state of Nevada make sure their voices are prioritized and their lived experiences validated?

At Sierra Club, we believe that unless justice is centered, we will not address the root causes that bring us here today. We want to see a future that looks very different from the reality we are currently living in. Where those whose water has been polluted gets justice. Where those whose air quality is worst get more sidewalks and less roads. Where before extractive industries get free reign, communities get to consent, know the true impacts, and have the economic independence to say no. We know it is possible to redesign our cities and lifestyles to be more sustainable and lessen our footprint and are committed to doing so, but we do not believe the burden of change falls on the average residents shoulders. Corporations who have been extracting our natural resources and selling us lies must carry the burden of remediating their destruction of our planet.

We applaud the state for trying to get a comprehensive plan that can help guide our state, cities, towns, and industries to a more just, climate prepared future. Thank you Dr. Averyt for leading this effort, and taking the time to hear our voices while drafting this plan.

We look forward to engaging on this plan moving forward and supporting the state as it finds a new path that supports frontline communities, brings justice to those experiencing the worst of climate impacts, and ensures all can thrive as we grapple with the long term impacts of destructive industries. Prioritizing frontline communities is climate justice.