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Private equity profits from climate disaster clean-up – while investing in fossil fuels

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: New research reveals that private equity firms are capitalizing on the aftermath of climate disasters in the US, with many failing to ensure adequate protections for their workers
• Moreover, these firms often invest in fossil fuels, which exacerbate the climate crisis

🔭 The context: The demand for disaster restoration workers, predominantly immigrants and refugees, is surging due to increased climate-related catastrophes
• At least 72 disaster cleanup companies have been acquired by private equity since 2020, as stated by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project (PSEP) and Resilience Force

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: These resilience workers face hazardous conditions like unstable buildings, toxins, and diseases
• The convoluted network of contractors, insurance, and temporary jobs makes accountability for worker rights violations difficult

⏭️ What's next: Next month, Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal plans to reintroduce the 2022 Climate Resilience Workforce Act to foster a well-trained, fairly compensated workforce and help the US gear up for the impending climate crisis

💬 One quote: "Disasters have become more intense and destructive... Wage theft and health and safety violations are deeply endemic… and private equity is failing to establish higher standards,” (Saket Soni, Director of Resilience Force)

📈 One stat: Over 2016-2022, 122 separate billion-dollar disasters in the US resulted in over 5,000 deaths and damages surpassing $1 trillion, as per data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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