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, 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.
NEHA's Climate and Health Online Community
Check out NEHA's new interactive climate and health online community. Participate in discussion posts, find relevant resources and share climate and health events from your organization.
In 2019, NEHA, in partnership with Climate for Health, developed the "Emergency Preparedness and Response to Climate Change: The Role of Environmental Health." The report explores climate impacts including human health, the economy, air quality, extreme heat, drought, wildfires, extreme floods, and vector-borne illness. The role of environmental health in emergency preparedness and response was explored through the lens of the three core functions of public health - assessment, policy development, and assurance. Challenges and existing gaps were identified in the report, along with recommendations. Based on this report, NEHA has developed seven fact sheets that further explore the role of the environmental health workforce in emergency preparedness and response regarding air quality, extreme heat, drought, wildfires, extreme storms, floods, and vector-borne disease.
NEHA's 100% Clean Energy Declaration
As part of NEHA's partnership with Climate for Health, we are addressing climate change through clean energy solutions. NEHA's Board of Directors approved a declaration on 100% clean energy by 2030. Carbon pollution is warming our planet and profoundly affecting the U.S. and the world. U.S. leadership can help the world meet these challenges with innovative solutions. We have an obligation to act today on climate change and build a sustainable future for our children, so we must start with mitigating our own climate impact. Therefore, NEHA is committed to working towards 100% clean energy use by 2030. We will employ administrative, educational, engineering, and fiscal measures to meet this goal.
Executive Director Dr. David Dyjack weighed in on the developments from the board meeting: “I am very pleased that the board approved the 100% clean energy declaration. Our organization is committed to being the most influential voice in the environmental health profession. Through this declaration, NEHA continues to project leadership and provide the highest quality tools and resources that can help guide and inform decisions that affect public health and the health of our country.”
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 worldwide environmental health problem that has health and safety impacts on 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 and ecoAmerica's Climate for Health Partnership
NEHA is excited to partner with ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health program. Please see Climate for Health's resources and recent climate reports. Together, NEHA and Climate for Health are building visible national leadership on climate solutions and institutionalizing climate action as a health imperative; developing and supporting climate literate environmental health professionals that can lead on climate; engaging all leadership, members, and stakeholders; and building collective support and action for climate solutions within the NEHA community and across the health sector.
ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health program partners with America’s leading health associations and institutions to make climate change a top national health priority.
Video: Addressing Climate Change Impacts
NEHA, in partnership with ecoAmerica, Climate for Health, has developed a five-minute video featuring NEHA members’ success stories addressing climate change impacts from Cambridge, Massachusetts; Salt Lake County, Utah; and Franklin County, Ohio. Environmental health professionals and members of NEHA’s Climate Change Committee share their inspiring stories addressing strategies for adaptation, mitigation at the community level, and strong coalitions and collaborations.
Measuring National Environmental Health Association Member Attitudes, Awareness, and Behaviors on Climate Change: Results From Three Consecutive Annual Surveys
NEHA, in partnership with the ecoAmerica's Climate for Health, published survey results in the Journal of Environmental Health from three annual surveys that measure NEHA members' attitudes, awareness, and behaviors towards climate change. The results of these surveys better inform actions that Environmental Health professionals can take to adapt and prepare for climate change impacts in their local communities. Read the column in the Journal of Environmental Health
- American Climate Metric Survey 2020
- American Climate Metric Survey 2019
- American Climate Metric Survey 2018
- American Climate Metric Survey 2017
- American Climate Metric Survey 2016
NEHA program committees provide guidance, input, and expertise to NEHA leadership and program staff, fellow environmental health professionals, and partner organizations on environmental health policies and programs. The Climate Change Committee Mission, Goals, and its Members are listed here.