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A truly sustainable future is an equitable one. If our society is really going to be sustainable, everyone needs access to clean and efficient sources of energy. The reduction of carbon emissions, especially in regards to fossil fuels, is the key to tackling climate change. A group effort is crucial towards this cause and we need everyone to participate.
Many people in the United States have a high energy burden. A high energy burden means that they have to devote a large share of their income towards keeping their lights on, warming their homes in the winter, and cooling them during the summer. In many cases, high energy burdens diminish funds that would be spent on other things like health care, education, or even groceries. No one should be forced to decide between staying warm and putting food on the table.
Many people support going green with their energy consumption but gaining access to green energy can be expensive. Renovations to add solar panels to roofs or make other changes to increase home energy-efficiency are too expensive for many low-income people to afford. Low-income households lack the extra capital to invest in renovations or even these technologies in general. The U.S. Federal Reserve recently acknowledged the fact that most households cannot afford to pay for energy upgrades. This means that as the impacts of climate change worsen, the poor will be less prepared as daily weather gets increasingly wetter, hotter, and colder.
If we are going to cut our global emissions, we all must be able to access green technologies at a reasonable price. Utility companies can play a huge role in helping everyone gain access to energy-efficiency. In addition to climate benefits, increased energy-efficiency reduces our energy burdens. There are currently many organizations that are fighting to help those with the most need, such as the Climate Reality project that is helping to train others in the fight for an inclusive future. We all need to band together to mitigate climate change, our future will be molded by our actions today
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