SSN Commentary

Facing Climate Disasters, Young Americans Deserve a Strong ‘Ecosocial’ Safety Net

Policy field

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University of California, Berkeley

Originally published in The Messenger on September 2, 2023.

As climate change persists and natural disasters increase in frequency and intensity, it’s overtly apparent that America’s climate-focused social programs are woefully ill-equipped to help us cope with the effects of these crises. While Gen Z and millennials overall are making monumental progress toward equitable climate change adaptation, it’s imperative that we rethink our government’s approach to mitigating climate risks.

We have a right to be protected from the social and economic risks brought on by climate change through natural disasters — something I call “ecosocial” rights. And we can guarantee that happens by reforming our ecosocial safety net.