[April 4, 2016] With today’s release of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s (USGCRP) Climate and Health Assessment, the Health Care Climate Council is urging for climate leadership from the health sector.
The report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States, presents a comprehensive assessment of climate change’s profound direct and indirect impact on the health of our individuals and communities. Just as with the links between smoking and cancer, the connections between climate change and health are clear.
"Climate change [affects] human health in two main ways,” the report states. “[First], by changing the severity or frequency of health problems that are already affected by climate and weather factors; and second, by creating unprecedented or unanticipated health problems or health threats in places where they have not previously occurred."
Changing weather patterns and rising temperatures allow diseases to spread into new regions, hurt food production, impact mental health and well-being, and stress health systems and critical infrastructure. For the United States to protect its citizens, reduce healthcare costs, and stay competitive in the global economy, climate action is necessary.
The report also serves as a call to action for healthcare leaders. As a leadership body of health systems representing more than 400 hospitals and 82,000 patient beds, the Health Care Climate Council will continue to reduce our climate impacts, move toward renewable energy sources, and lend the health care voice to encourage climate action as a way to ensure a healthy future for individuals and communities throughout the United States.
About the Health Care Climate Council
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.