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 is important. Communities must create and be examples of more efficient and sustainable lifestyles, such as using active and mass transportation, reducing waste, and conserving energy and water.
NEW! NEHA Climate Change Policy Statement
NEHA's Board of Directors adopted NEHA's Climate Change Policy Statement written by NEHA's Climate Change Committee. Climate change is affecting environmental health—the quality of air, food, and water in the communities where we live, work, and play (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). NEHA recognizes climate change as a world-wide environmental health problem that has health and safety impacts to individuals and communities. Environmental health professionals improve and protect the public’s health and create and sustain healthy communities. It is NEHA’s responsibility to support the capacity of environmental health professionals to address the health impacts of climate change with risk assessment, adaptation, and mitigation planning.
NEHA Climate Change Policy Statement (PDF)
Let’s Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate U.S. Latinos
Environmental health professionals are uniquely positioned in local communities to be the nexus of climate change leadership. NEHA encourages you to share and use this report to activate Latinos on solutions and amplify your voice on the important message of climate change that crosses national and cultural boundaries.
View Let's Talk Climate Report (PDF)
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.
Articles by Dr. David Dyjack:
September 2014: The Implications for Public Health when “Weird Weather” becomes the New Normal
April 2014: Local Public Health Department Funding for Climate Change
March 2014: Water Scarcity: California Drought Prompts Tough Questions for Public Health
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)
October 2012: Altitude and Environmental Climate Effects on Bronchiolitis Severity Among Children Presenting to the Emergency Department (PDF)
February 2017: NEHA Climate Change Policy Statement (PDF)
For additional resources and reports, click here.