NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / October 27, 2022 / Climate change is not solely an environmental issue. The effects of climate change have shown detrimental impacts to every continent and ocean across the globe, however, its hazardous events and trends have disproportionately impacted vulnerable populations. Recognizing climate change as a socio-economic issue is essential to driving the innovation needed to build climate equity for all people.
According to the 2021 Social Vulnerability Report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, global patterns of inequality on the basis of income, education, race, ethnicity and age are directly linked to the disproportionate effects of climate change we see today. The report finds that with 2 degrees Celsius of global warming:
Black and African American people are 34 percent more likely to live in areas with the highest projected increases in childhood asthma diagnoses due to climate-driven changes in particulate air pollution.
Individuals with low income or with no high school diploma are 25 percent more likely to live in areas with the highest projected loss of labor due to climate change.
American Indians and Alaskan Natives are 48 percent more likely to live in areas where the highest percentage of land is projected to be inundated due to sea level rise.
Innovation is essential to building the resilience vulnerable communities need against the harmful impacts of climate change. To advance the mission of building climate equity for all people, the Verizon Climate Resilience Prize, now in its second year, will use the company's resources and networks to identify and scale next-gen climate-equity-based solutions that leverage technological innovations, like 5G technology, and have demonstrated results in real-world application.
In partnership with GreenBiz Group, next year's Verizon Climate Resilience Prize will divide an award pool of $500k among four winners, in addition to post-prize developmental support. Last year's winners included Hyfi, a startup based in Michigan providing high-resolution water level data to help stormwater managers, first responders, and the public respond to floods in real time, The Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program (FFRP), a nonprofit organization recruiting and employing formerly incarcerated individuals in forestry work that prevents wildfires, and Coral Vita, an organization dedicated to growing diverse and resilient corals on land and planting them in degraded underwater reefs. All three winners leveraged their awards and support to scale their businesses and further innovate their operations for the betterment of under-resourced communities.
The Verizon Climate Resilience Prize is a part of Citizen Verizon, the company's responsible business plan for economic, environmental, and social advancement. In addition to helping vulnerable populations deal with the effects of climate change, Verizon's own sustainability goals are to source and generate renewable energy equivalent to 50 percent of its annual electricity consumption by 2025 and achieve net zero emissions in its operations by 2035.
Interested applicants can learn more about the climate prize at: https://www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/verizon-climate-resilience-prize
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