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The poor are hit hard by energy costs linked to climate change


Narrator:       
This is Science Today. Heat waves, air pollution, higher energy costs - these are just a handful of effects that researchers at the University of California, Berkeley report are the result of climate change. In her report called ‘The Climate Gap', Rachel Morello-Frosch, an associate professor at the School of Public Health, found that the poor are hit hardest by these effects.

Morello-Frosch:         Low income households pay a disproportionate part of their income for basic goods like energy, food and water compared to higher income households and climate change itself is likely to make that worse. So, for example, in terms of energy costs, you can imagine that during extreme heat events, households are going to pay higher prices for energy because everyone's using their air conditioning, power plants run less efficiently, they have to pass those higher costs onto consumers. So, by re-investing those revenues to cushion low-income households from the direct impacts of the prices of energy, that's a useful way to try and close the climate gap.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.