Why Health & Climate?

Our climate is changing and it’s harming the health of people in communities across America. The good news is that many communities are stepping up to the challenge and responding in ways that protect and improve everyone’s chance for a healthy future. We aim to keep you up to date on the health impacts of climate change, but our primary goal is to illuminate how communities across America are developing innovative ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change while improving health and advancing health equity.

Climate Change Is Harming Our Health

Across the United States, people are seeing increasing rates of health problems associated with climate change, including injuries and deaths from dangerous weather events, infectious diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks, illnesses from contaminated food and water, heat-related illness, worsening chronic illnesses, and mental health problems. (U.S. Global Change Research Program) While everyone could be harmed, climate change magnifies the inequities that prevent some people from having a fair opportunity to live a healthier life. Where people live or work, their age, race, income, and pre-existing health conditions all influence their risk of having their health seriously harmed by climate change. Some people experience a greater climate burden and feel it sooner. (American Public Health Association)

Climate Solutions are Health Solutions

Many health harms from climate change can be prevented through a range of actions, such as reducing air pollution by using clean energy. The sooner these actions are taken, the more health harms can be prevented, and the more the health of all Americans can be improved. In fact, effective responses to climate change can deliver immediate and sustained health benefits and will improve health equity in our communities. The Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change emphasized that the response to climate change could be “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”