08/15/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

NAACP Endorses Climate Change Legislation

Climate change advocates gained the support of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Tuesday, the first time the organization has addressed the issue head-on.

Delegates to the NAACP Centennial Convention resolved to work with the National Wildlife Federation to "ensure that the response to climate change can take a higher ground than business as usual -- one that ensures that we capture the real public benefits from the new energy economy."

Spokesmen attributed the NAACP's support for climate-change legislation to the promise of green jobs for poor urban areas that need rebuilding, a sentiment echoed by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).

"Communities of color have and continue to be disproportionately impacted by global climate change, environmental degradation, and our nation's dependence on fossil fuels," Lee told the Huffington Post. "The CBC will continue to work with the Senate to ensure that our priorities that were included in the House energy legislation remain in the Senate version."

Those priorities, Lee said, include a number of programs endorsed by the NAACP and added to the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House last month, such as $100 million for green retrofitting of public and federally assisted housing, financing for minority-owned green businesses, green job training and funding for green programs at historically black colleges and universities.

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