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Title:'Saving the planet felt like a white space to me'
Date:11/24/2022 4:09:35 AM
Summary:

When you think of climate campaigners, David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Leonardo Di Caprio may come to mind. In the UK, the environment industry is thought to be one of the least racially diverse, but some young campaigners are trying to change that.

"I didn't feel connected to the environmental movement. I saw it as a very white space and somewhere that wasn't for me," says Dominique Palmer.

Activist Dominique makes content for social media, speaks in public and writes about the climate.

The 23-year-old has just returned from the United Nations environment meeting, COP27, in Egypt, but says as a child growing up in London, she didn't imagine herself doing any of this.

"I just didn't understand that some of the issues, for example asthma and air pollution that I was facing growing up, were actually also connected to environmental issues," she adds.

Dominique sees a disconnect between the black community and climate industry in the UK and feels there are a few reasons behind this:

"If you're not seeing yourself represented from the get-go, I think that separates a lot of people."

African and Caribbean countries are disproportionately located in parts of the world that are vulnerable to climate hazards, hurricanes and flooding.

Despite this, the UK environmental sector is the second least diverse industry in the country - just after farming.

Just under 5% of environment professionals identify as black, Asian or from other ethnic minorities, compared to around 12% across all professions in the UK, according to the racial diversity in environment professions report.

Dominique thinks accessibility to nature might also be a reason for this.

"I didn't feel connected to nature spaces, especially living in the UK. This is the case for a lot of black people, especially in cities where they don't have access to green spaces," she says.

"Sometimes it can seem...

Organization:BBC
Date Added:11/24/2022 6:37:35 AM
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