Climate crisis a slow burning fire - 19 year old Whitehouse Advisor
12 November 2021
Jerome Foster II, who at 19 is the youngest ever White House advisor in US history, spoke to the APEC CEO Summit about his work for climate justice, particularly for communities of colour.
In his work as an activist, advocate and as an intern for US Senator and civil rights activist the late John Lewis, Mr Foster has been calling for action on a number of levels.
He spoke about ending fossil fuel subsidies, which distort the market and make it more difficult for renewable energy providers to compete.
“We have to make sure renewable energy can compete with fossil fuels because solar and wind is cheaper but because of so many government handouts, it doesn’t seem that way on the economic side,” he said.
“The climate crisis didn’t just start with the idea of emitting CO2 particles – but the idea of limitless extraction. That ideology has to end.”
He commented that the climate crisis disproportionately affects communities of colour, who are already disadvantaged.
“It sets a slow burning fire under every other crisis, like racism, sexism, migration, immigration, and makes them into catastrophic failures. We’re going to see over a billion climate migrants if we don’t do anything to stop the climate crisis right now.
He added, “In the US, we’re seeing more than 80 percent of our coal-fired power plants in black and minority communities. This isn’t a coincidence, it’s a system that continues to destabilise communities of colour, and indigenous communities that continue to put us behind in our fight for equity and equality.”