1. What is Climate for Health?
Climate for Health is a national initiative that brings together leaders and institutions across the health sector committed to advancing climate solutions to protect the health of our patients and communities. We are also working to reduce our own climate impacts in hospitals, clinics, offices, and facilities throughout the country.
By joining Climate for Health, we commit to easing our climate impact and working together to prepare and prevent the health risks posed by climate change, and engage and inspire our staff, patients, peers and communities and on the health benefits of climate change solutions.
2. Why are health professionals uniquely positioned to foster new levels of support for climate change solutions?
America’s physicians, nurses, and health professionals are consistently ranked as among the most trusted of all professionals and they occupy a unique and highly influential position in society. Americans of every political persuasion and background highly value and actively seek out guidance on personal well-being, health threats, and lifestyle choices from health professionals.
3. What is climate change?
Climate change is caused by an overabundance of heat-trapping gases and particles within the atmosphere. These gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and black carbon (soot), are the result of burning and drilling for fossil fuels. This results in shifts in climate and weather patterns, causing more floods, droughts, stronger and more unpredictable storms, rising sea levels, heat waves, and changes to growing seasons and zones. There are also several health and lifestyle impacts (such as rising asthma rates and wildfires) that many Americans are witnessing within their own communities. For more information on climate change, visit the National Climate Assessment website.
4. What if we are new to climate solutions?
Many of us were not always climate change leaders, but we have come to realize that addressing climate is an opportunity to fulfill our oath to protect our patients, hospitals, clinics, communities, and country.
Climate for Health makes it easy for anyone to become a leader by providing tools and resources for any health facility regardless of its size, budget, or experience with climate change. Climate for Health will help you lead by example and communicate successfully to get others involved. We welcome you to join us as a leader to encourage others to work towards a healthy future.
5. How will Climate for Health support me?
Climate for Health connects health leaders with a wide variety of resources, other leaders, and a program for use within peer leadership groups to build stronger and healthier communities. Whether health professional leaders are looking to lead by example in their climate impact or engage others in climate solutions, Climate for Health provides a plethora of effective tools, resources, ideas, guides and success stories – all in a comprehensive, easy-to-access collection.
In addition to these direct benefits, Climate for Health leaders are linked to other leaders in higher education, business, faith, communities and other sectors that touch Americans’ lives through the MomentUs initiative.
6. What are some climate-related health issues that doctors, nurses and hospitals are already witnessing and addressing? Here are just a few:
- Twice as many Americans are suffering from asthma now than in 1990
- Allergy seasons are longer now and pollen counts are significantly higher, triggering more severe and prolonged symptoms
- Diseases such as dengue fever and malaria that were once relegated to the tropics are showing up in Florida and Texas
- Ticks carrying debilitating Lyme diseases have expanded their territory from southern New England and Mid-Atlantic states as far north as Maine
- Increased numbers of extreme weather events are causing injuries, death, disease, and emotional trauma
- Heat-related illnesses are up dramatically across wide swaths of America
- Find more at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
7. How do I join Climate for Health?
Joining Climate for Health takes less than a minute and is free! You can join online at climateforhealth.org. By making the Path to Positive pledge, you are joining a network of leaders committed to taking action and inspiring others to lead on climate in their health care institutions, communities, and homes. You can also choose to join as an individual to stay informed and access resources and tools.