Addressing climate change can be an overwhelming and daunting task, but when all individuals in a community engage, prepare, and collaborate on effective climate change strategies, then partnerships and solutions arise. Evaluating baseline opinions, values, core beliefs, and identities of a community’s diverse population will allow environmental health professionals to better understand how and where behavior change can produce maximum results. Promoting long-term planning for climate change must take precedence and communities must create and be examples of more efficient and sustainable lifestyles, such as using active and mass transportation, reducing waste, conserving energy, and growing and/or purchasing local foods.
Paris Climate Change Talks
To build upon the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP21), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of France jointly hosted the Second Global Conference on Health & Climate: “Building Healthier Societies Through Implementation of the Paris Agreement” on July 7-8 in Paris. The original Paris climate agreement, of which the U.S. is a signatory, was completed on December 12, 2015. This conference responded to the commitments to protect and promote health, and their requests through the World Health Assembly and WHO Executive Board, to renew and reinforce the engagement of the health community to respond to climate change, and to address closely related environmental issues, including air pollution.
NEHA’s Executive Director, Dr. David Dyjack, had the privilege of attending and contributing to the conference. There was great attendance, quality interventions, and an overall positive and coherent message of a strong health community ready to implement the Paris Agreement. Dr. Dyjack spoke to the 500 delegates during the closing session about the potential contributions of the sizeable global environmental health workforce, which had been largely overlooked. Please see his column in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Environmental Health.
For more information, please see the Conference Conclusions and Action Agenda.
For an interactive resource, click here.
- NEHA 2015 AEC Climate Change Educational Sessions in Orlando
- NEHA 2014 AEC Recorded Climate Change sessions
Articles by Dr. David Dyjack:
Articles by Journal of Environmental Health:
April 2014: 2012 NEHA/UL Sabbatical Report Vulnerability to Potential Impacts of Climate Change: Adaptation and Risk Communication Strategies for Environmental Health Practitioners in the United Kingdom (PDF)
For additional resources and reports, click here.