ecoAmerica's 2017 American Climate Leadership Summit will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, DC October 25-26. At the Summit, attendees from across the country will engage in cross-sectoral collaboration and discussion and hear from eminent health, faith, and local community leaders to determine how a concerned public can best "Take Up the Mantle" on climate leadership in the face of federal climate policy inaction. On day two, attendees will hear from key leaders of national health associations, from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, in a session moderated by Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association (APHA), whose own efforts include promoting climate and health advocacy by declaring 2017 the Year of Climate Change and Health. Read on below as Dr. Benjamin shares his brief thoughts on how Summit participants, APHA, and everyday citizens can step up their commitment on climate and health solutions.
What do you wish more Americans knew about climate change?
That it is here, now impacting our health today. But also that we can do something about it. First, you can work to reduce your own energy usage. Secondly, you can help your employer reduce their energy usage at work. Finally, you can work with your local elected officials to pass measures that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
What are current climate initiatives or efforts that inspire you/give you hope that we will effectively address climate change, even with the dearth of federal leadership on the issue?
Join the American Public Health Association's efforts by going to www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/climate-change and ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health web page at https://ecoamerica.org/health/ to learn about the issues and to engage in our work.
What do you hope/believe the American Climate Leadership Summit will accomplish in moving the needle on climate action?
This Summit will catalyze our work across sectors to accelerate state and local actions on climate change. I also hope it will convince our federal elected leaders to act more boldly to address both adaptation and mitigation.
The American Climate Leadership Summit is a tremendous opportunity to inspire cross-sector collaboration on climate solutions. For more information on this year's Summit please visit here.