Why fighting climate change must embrace cultural and economic diversity

After a summer with more than 20 days over 90 degrees, the commonwealth’s communities are now contending with single digit cold snaps, and winter has only just started. Extreme temperatures have come as gas and heating oil prices skyrocket and fossil fuel companies cry for more polluting fossil fuels to solve our dilemma. What we really need at this moment is to move towards a clean, energy efficient future.

Such a future is especially important when we acknowledge that those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are hit the hardest by these rising costs and extreme temperatures. For example, in the United States, around 52.2% of Black or African American households and 45% of Hispanic/Latino households struggle to afford electricity, cooking gas and heating oil.

That’s why Massachusetts’ three-year energy efficiency plan is so critical right now. The Department of Public Utilities is currently debating the plan, and it should be approved.

Energy efficiency is a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and in making progress toward a more equitable future. It also can save you money, clean our air and even improve your health. At its most basic level, energy efficiency is about making the electricity you use go further, which reduces the overall demand for energy.

Read the full op-ed on GBH.