Latino Organizations Call on President Obama to Take Action on Climate Change

Jun 13, 2013, 18:11 ET from Voces Verdes

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Latino families are especially vulnerable to health complications from breathing polluted air, which makes them strong supporters of President Obama taking action against climate change by limiting carbon pollution from the nation's power plants, wrote 18 Latino organizations in a letter to the president today.

"Our community's exposure to polluted air and its health consequences makes us particularly sensitive to the harms of the carbon pollution contributing to climate change," said Dr. Elena Rios, President of the National Hispanic Medical Association, one of the organizations that wrote to the president, including Voto Latino, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Hispanic Medical Association, Voces Verdes and many more.

The organizations indicated their strong support of Obama combatting climate change by finalizing carbon pollution standards for new power plants and beginning to work on limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.

"Our members and supporters share your concerns about climate change and are eager to see your administration act now. This is the time for us to rise to the challenge," they wrote, and pledged to work with Obama to get the job done.

These standards are important for Latinos. Nearly half of all U.S. Latinos live in the country's most smog-polluted cities, breathing in dirty air that can cause asthma attacks, reduce lung function, and aggravate respiratory illnesses. Climate change—and the hotter temperatures that come with it—only make smog worse.

With millions of Latinos being especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, it's no surprise that polls continue to show extremely high support among Latinos for government action to curb carbon pollution.

A recent poll by Latino Decisions found that 84 percent of U.S. Latinos favor the EPA setting safeguards to limit air pollution. An equally high 86 percent of those surveyed said they would support President Obama taking action to limit pollution that causes climate change, mirroring past polls showing that Latinos consider the environment and public health top priorities, and believe that government action on air pollution is key.

"Our community may be extremely focused on immigration reform these days, but our concerns go beyond that," said Nicolas Ibarguen, Director for Planet Initiative at the abc* Foundation and Publisher and Editor of PODER Magazine. "We recognize the need to face the threat of climate change and are eager to see President Obama take action. As the president said, we owe this to future generations."

The entire letter can be found at

Voces Verdes is the independent, non-partisan voice of Latino leaders for the environment. We are an coalition of Latino business, health and community leaders who advocate for sound policy and recognize the importance of balancing economic growth, environmental protection and prosperity.

SOURCE Voces Verdes