Prioritizing Equity in Climate Resilience Planning

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour (Original Air Date: February 2, 2021) — 2021 has seen massive ice storms, fires, drought and flooding across the country, stretching existing resources and infrastructure to their limit. Utah and most of the western U.S. are currently gripped by the most severe drought in decades, even as summer storms cause flooding throughout the mountain west. Meteorologists tie both the severe drought and floods to the warming of the planet, as higher temperatures lead to greater evaporation, which, in turn, spawn abnormally intense storm systems. Many climate scientists conclude this is due to the far-reaching effects of a changing climate.

In 2017, the United Nations Department of Economic & Social Affairs published a report pointing out that these far-reaching impacts of climate change would exacerbate inequality both within and between countries. The report advocates addressing these two issues simultaneously—as they can reinforce the benefits to those in need.

This week’s panelists discuss these societal effects of climate change and the need to prioritize equity in crafting environmental policy. The panel includes Hokulani Aikau, director of pacific island studies and associate professor of gender and ethnic studies at the University of Utah; Tabitha Benney, associate professor of political science at the University of Utah; and Danielle Endres, professor of communication at the University of Utah. Moderating this week’s discussion is Kerry Case, Chief Sustainability Officer at the University of Utah.

This forum was put on in partnership with the University Office of Sustainability.

This forum was recorded on February 1, 2021.

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