(April 21, 2020 - New York, NY) “Earth Day in the time of COVID-19 is more urgent than ever. This crisis has made the 50th Earth Day a profound reminder that our mission is not only about the world, but about all the people in it. So let’s honor it by pledging to help everyone, especially those who have suffered the most.
“Now is the time to commit to cleaning up the air pollution that causes conditions like heart and lung disease and increased asthma attacks, all of which put people at higher risk for severe illness from the coronavirus—and address inequities that have hurt so many communities. As this disease runs its unjust course through our nation, we must all join with those who have been fighting discrimination for decades in an effort to bring about the healthier, fairer society we hope to be. Though the pathogen doesn’t discriminate, our public health outcomes always have, because of unequal exposure to pollution and unequal access to treatment.
“As we focus on the urgent need to address the coronavirus pandemic and its serious economic consequences, we should ensure that we don’t leave a mess for our kids. We have the chance to create jobs and rebuild a better, cleaner and healthier economy. We can reduce climate pollution, which would not only protect our children’s generation but also reduce traditional air pollution. We can invest in the electrification of our truck fleet, upgrade public transportation to world class standards, boost clean energy, and build natural infrastructure to protect our communities and food supply. All of it will create jobs and protect our health and safety in the future.
“We should also resolve to continue fighting the Trump administration’s three and half year long attack on environmental protection. They have pushed to allow more mercury, acid gases and carbon pollution in our air, weakened protections on toxic chemicals and utterly ignored the growing damage from climate change. The real world consequences will be more asthma attacks, more heart and lung disease and a more dangerous future. The Trump administration has, in nearly all its actions, shown a disdain for science and facts – with devastating results.”
- Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund
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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.