American Medical Student Association Principles on Climate Change

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DateApril 13, 2015

AuthorAmerican Medical Student Association

The American Medical Student Association:

  1. BELIEVES that global warming is one of the major threats to public health and health equity in our time and that all sectors of society, especially the health professional community, must be engaged in solutions to the climate crisis. (2009)
  2. BELIEVES that stabilization of climate change in time to minimize harm to the global community will require a reduction of global warming emissions to at least 80 percent below current levels by the year 2050 and may require movement toward zero emissions. (2009)
  3. JOINS the global community in pursuit of the 2050 climate stabilization goal by organizing staff, national leaders, and other interested members charged with creating an inventory our organizational greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and implementation of a comprehensive plan to achieve significant, measurable and sustainable reduction of those GHG emissions to at least 80 percent below current levels by 2050, with the ultimate goal of a policy of climate neutrality: net-zero global warming emissions. The committee will develop a plan that establishes short-, mid-, and long-term GHG reduction targets, make the inventory and plan available to AMSA members and will yearly review institutional progress and new scientific data related to climate stabilization. (2009)
  4. COMMITS to reduction of GHG emissions by a variety of means, including budget-neutral and budget-saving measures, at all AMSA properties and functions. (2009)
  5. URGES medical schools, hospitals, and health institutions to make equivalent commitments. (2009)
  6. URGES medical students and health professionals, especially AMSA leaders, members and staff, to adopt environmentally healthy lifestyle changes wherever possible. (2009)
  7. URGES inclusion in medical school curricula of the causes of global warming, of the public health impacts, and healthy equity implications of climate change, and of strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. (2009)
  8. SUPPORTS enactment of a multi-sector national program of requirements, market-based limits, and incentives for reducing GHG emissions to at least 80 percent below current levels by 2050, including provisions for scientific review of evidence related to health-protecting climate stabilization targets. (2009)
  9. BELIEVES that emission allowances represent public goods and should be managed to the benefit of the public. Polluters should be forced to pay for these emission allowances through an auction system. Funds generated such auctions should be used to advance clean, renewable energy technologies, reduce the impact on low-income workers and communities and assist those most impacted by the effects of global warming. (2009)
  10. BELIEVES that climate stabilization should not come at the expense of economic development in poor countries that are not responsible for this crisis. Instead, corporations, developed countries and the wealthy of all countries should bear the primary financial responsibility for reducing global GHG emissions. (2009)
  11. SUPPORTS international agreements on climate stabilization that promote economic justice, encourage sustainable development and the growth of the global renewable energy infrastructure, especially in developing countries, and that require reductions in GHG emissions commensurate with available resources, current share of emissions, and historic responsibility for emissions. (2009)
  12. SUPPORTS efforts to identify, analyze, and mitigate public health impacts of climate change and prepare for and build resilience to those impacts. Special consideration, commensurate to impact, should be given to the needs of vulnerable populations, including in developing countries, people of color, the poor, women, the elderly, children, and people with disabilities. (2009)
  13. BELIEVES that national and international efforts to end poverty, support women’s rights, and provide universal education and healthcare, including access to reproductive services are critical to climate stabilization. (2009)
  14. SUPPORTS investment in Green Jobs programs to provide employment, promote economic justice, and provide the needed training, education, and workforce to help build the renewable energy infrastructure. (2009)
  15. BELIEVES medical students should take a leadership role in promoting public awareness and health professional action on climate change. (2009)

Resource Categories

Type Statement/Policy

Topic Social Vulnerablility and Hazards

Region Global