As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report makes clear, we must undertake substantial immediate and sustained action to mitigate climate change if we are to avoid catastrophic changes, and action to date, based on what has been politically ‘feasible’ has been woefully inadequate.
And yet we at the Center believe that tackling climate change is possible, and that climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies offer an incredible opportunity to improve health through:
- Promoting sustainable diets and food systems.
- Creating more walkable, bikeable and transit-supported cities and communities.
- Offering universal, rights-based access to sexual and reproductive health services.
- Cleaning up the air, water and soil.
- Building community collaboration, cohesion and resilience.
The health savings from addressing climate change in ways that offer health co-benefits can not only improve quality of life, but can also substantially offset the costs of climate action. By addressing climate change in ways that protect health and equity, we can use this challenge to create more vibrant, healthy and equitable communities in the US and around the world.
To advance these goals, PHI and the Center for Climate Change & Health advocate for policies at all levels (local, state, federal and international, as well as agency and organizational) that mitigate climate change, protect health and safeguard equity. We also work to develop and to lift up local, community strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Check back soon to read our policy comments, letters and statements to learn more about policies that we believe can make a difference; and to read stories about communities, local health departments and local organizations tackling climate change and protecting health.