The Health Care Climate Council, representing 18 leading U.S. health care systems, considers today's executive order by the White House targeting the Clean Power Plan a major setback for protecting the health of our nation.
The EPA previously estimated that the Clean Power Plan will cut hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution and hundreds of thousands of tons of harmful particulate pollution, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. By 2030, these reductions will prevent an estimated 3,600 premature deaths per year and 300,000 missed school and workdays. In addition, the Clean Power Plan will provide important health protections to communities disproportionately impacted by dirty air and water.
“The Clean Power Plan represents an essential public health intervention,” said Dr. Aparna Bole, a pediatrician, environmental health advocate, and Health Care Without Harm board member. “As a pediatrician, I’m especially concerned about the fact that children are disproportionately impacted by the health effects of dirty air and climate change. The Clean Power Plan has significant health benefits, it will prevent thousands of premature deaths and child asthma attacks, and it is a vital step toward ensuring a healthy and safe environment for current and future generations of children.”
In addition to community and environmental health benefits of clean energy, the sector is creating new jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.
Policies that support clean energy also spur the economic growth that positively affect the health and wellness of communities.
As a leadership body of health systems representing more than 430 hospitals and almost 1,000,000 patients beds, the Health Care Climate Council will continue to reduce its impact on the environment, move toward renewable energy sources, and support the public health goals that the Clean Power Plan was designed to provide.
Disappointed with the White House's decision, the Health Care Climate Council stands committed to protect the health of our patients and our communities.
Established by Health Care Without Harm, the Health Care Climate Council is a leadership network of hospitals committed to strengthening the health sector’s response to climate change. The opinion expressed in this statement does not necessarily reflect the opinions of individual Health Care Climate Council members.