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Articles by Jacqueline Patterson

Jacqueline Patterson is the director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program.

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This post is adapted from remarks I delivered at a recent U.S. Climate Action Network press conference responding to President Obama’s speech at the opening session of the U. N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties 21.

As representatives of communities of color on the frontlines of climate change, we appreciate the sentiments of hope, ambition, accountability, and commitment in President Obama’s remarks at the Paris climate talks. We also appreciate the president’s current and proposed actions: increasing energy efficiency; keeping fossil fuels in the ground; transitioning to clean energy; eradicating poverty; and preserving the planet for future generations.

However, in this case, the devil is most certainly in the details. As we move through the negotiations over these two weeks and return home to implement our commitments, we need to focus on definitions, processes, urgency, ambition, and stringency.

For us, this is personal. Here at the COP, we have NAACP delegates who face impacts from both the causes and effects of climate change. One comes from from Indiana, where there are more than a dozen toxic coal plants. Another is ... Read more

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