In March, a group of 125 Minnesota physicians, nurses, public health professionals and students delivered a letter to Minnesota’s legislators. The letter urged senators and representatives to support the work of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in developing the state’s strategy to implement the Clean Power Plan. In addition to health professionals, many organizations signed on, including the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, whose members represent 80 percent of the state’s Family Physicians, the Minnesota Organization of Registered Nurses, the Twin Cities Medical Society, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Lung Association, and others.
This team of health professionals and organizations is ceasing an opportunity for good public health: the declining costs of renewable energy help make the Clean Power Plan well within reach. Reducing energy demands and wasteful energy use is the most cost-effective means of lowering emissions and meeting state obligations under the Plan. As the Minnesota Post reports below, "These measures will enhance the health and safety of all Minnesotans while adding more new jobs to a burgeoning clean energy industry."
Inspired by this story? Climate for Health can connect you with other leaders working to reduce the impacts of climate change on health.
By Bruce Snyder and Teddie Potter I April 1, 2016
It’s time to push the clean energy debate out of the political corridors and refocus on benefits for human health. To health professionals in Minnesota, clean energy is about more than wind turbines and solar panels, power grids and utility lines, solar gardens and energy conservation.
Through our eyes, clean energy is about our children who suffer with asthma, our friends with allergies who love to jog outdoors, and our parents with lung disorders who find it hard to breathe when venturing out of their homes. New clean energy technologies are about keeping people healthy – at work, school and sports and out of Emergency Rooms.
That’s why members of Minnesota’s health care community stand united in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, and the positive effect implementation of the plan will have on the health of all Minnesotans. That’s why last November, Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, working with Allina Health, Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation, and partners from the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center, created a first-in-the-nation interprofessional continuing education course entitled “Climate Change and Public Health,” a full-day event attended by more than 100 health professionals.
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