Yessenia Funes
Climate Director, Atmos

The frontlines typically refer to a war zone—those who jump first toward conflict. In the era of climate change, the meaning of frontlines has gone on to evolve.

We're still talking about a war zone, but it's a war zone people can't escape from. It's a war zone they're thrown into despite their wishes. This word refers to those who live next door to polluters such as oil and gas refineries. It refers to the countless communities across the globe already experiencing extreme weather supercharged by a hotter planet. The word seeks to amplify the experiences of the people who did little to create the climate crisis because they don't consume enough energy or resources to emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases.

These are the people who sit on the frontlines as they begin to feel the impacts of climate change first and worst despite being nothing but an innocent bystander in its creation. The frontlines is where we action builds. It's where community lies. It's where the people are the strongest.
© 2021, Pamela EA

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