Medical Groups Announce Policy Agenda and Call to Action on the Climate Health Emergency
View a current list of media outlets and their location by State, who have published a story on The U.S. Call to Action on Climate, Health, & Equity.
More than 180 endorsers call climate change a true public health emergency and urge policymakers to take action now
Following a surge in the number and intensity of climate change-related health harms – from exposure to extreme weather and heat waves to worsening air pollution and the spread of insect-borne disease – health and medical groups have joined together to outline The Call to Action on Climate Health and Equity: A Policy Action Agenda to protect the health and safety of all people in the U.S.
The National Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Public Health Association are among the more than 180 health organizations calling on policymakers at all levels of government, and leaders in business and civil society to face the climate-health emergency head on and take actions outlined in The Call to Action on Climate Health and Equity. The agenda calls out 10 specific policy priorities, including the following:
1. Meeting and strengthening greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments and supporting the Paris Agreement.
2. Transitioning rapidly away from the use of coal, oil and natural gas to clean, safe, and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
3. Emphasizing active transportation in the transition to zero-carbon transportation systems.
4. Promoting healthy, sustainable and resilient farms and food systems, forests, and natural lands.
5. Ensuring that all U.S. residents have access to safe and affordable drinking water and a sustainable water supply.
6. Investing in policies that support a just transition for workers and communities adversely impacted by climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy.
7. Engaging the health sector voice in the call for climate action.
8. Incorporating climate solutions into all health care and public health systems.
9. Building resilient communities in the face of climate change.
10. Investing in climate in a way that benefits health, and health in a way that doesn’t harm the climate.
The Call to Action on Climate Health and Equity is a package of policies that together will lower current and future health harms from air pollution and climate change, while also substantially improving the health of people and communities across the nation, increasing health equity, reducing healthcare costs and building a climate-resistant health system. The case for these policies is supported by recent research, including the following:
- The most recent National Climate Assessment, which says reducing greenhouse gas emissions would save thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars from health-related economic benefits each year.
- New research published in Science Advances, which shows meeting the Paris Climate Agreement goal of limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius would save lives by reducing heat-related deaths and morbidity.
- A new Nature study showing that if greenhouse gas emissions continue rising at current rates, dengue fever is projected to spread throughout the southeastern United States by 2050. The disease already kills roughly 10,000 people and infects as many as 100 million around the world each year.
- Recent findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science which finds that transitioning to clean, renewable energy will substantially reduce deaths from air pollution–which currently kills more than 100,000 people in the US each year.
To read the full Call to Action on Climate Health and Equity, the complete list of endorsers and statements of support, please visit http://climatehealthaction.org
For more information, please contact the Consortium.