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It’s official – in 100 days the United States will formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. The impact of Donald Trump’s decision, taken three years ago, is already being felt by environmental justice communities.

Racism is the driving force behind why certain people and places face disproportionate environmental exposure to toxic substances, adverse climate change effects, Covid-19 infections and deaths. This raises the question: was withdrawing from the Paris agreement also a racist decision? How will this morally incomprehensible policy change affect Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other communities of color?

The United States will join a tiny proportion of the world’s countries that reject, or have failed to ratify, the Paris agreement. Its overarching purpose is to reduce global warming emissions and thus keep the global average temperature rise to well below 2C and as close to 1.5Cs as possible – levels that aim to avoid some of the worst climate change impacts.