Advocates: Nevada in crosshairs after U.N. climate report

Advocates: Nevada in crosshairs after U.N. climate report
Las Vegas. Photo by Dani Molina on Unsplash

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service
This story was originally published by Public News Service.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The American West is already feeling the brunt of climate change and things are on track to get worse, according to a new report from the United Nations.

Researchers found current efforts to slow global warming have made the worst-case scenario a bit less likely, but the world still is on track to experience more droughts, heat waves and wildfires in the coming decades unless a lot more is done to reduce carbon emissions.

Jose Silva, environmental justice organizer for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), noted transportation is the biggest source of carbon pollution, and idling trucks spew a huge amount of pollution into low-income neighborhoods, so he would like the state to step in.

“We would like to see incentives of the state government with industrial companies to electrify their vehicles, trucks and fleets,” Silva suggested.

Opponents argued the changeover would be too expensive for the trucking industry.

The U.N. research dovetails with a report from PLAN on climate change and environmental justice, which found North Las Vegas and Las Vegas were both among the top ten cities in the country where the lowest-income households live in the hottest neighborhoods.

The report also recommended Las Vegas make clean public transportation more accessible with more electric buses that make the rounds more often, so families can drive less.

Silva noted other major cities make it easier for low-income families to use public transportation.

“Here in Las Vegas, we are an international city,” Silva observed. “We should be competing at those standards with other international cities.”

PLAN also advocates for incentives to help low-income Nevadans buy electric vehicles and energy-efficient appliances, and be able to afford to put solar on the roof of their homes.