The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) has published seven fact sheets for our Climate and Health Program based on NEHA and ecoAmerica’s report “Emergency Preparedness and Response to Climate Change: The Role of Environmental Health” report. Topics covered are air quality, drought, extreme heat, extreme storms, floods, vectors, and wildfires – each of which effects of climate change with critical impacts on environmental health. These fact sheets provide information and resources regarding the health impacts of climate change, provides recommendations for reducing adverse outcomes, and highlights the role of the environmental health workforce in mitigating and adapting to these impacts. The fact sheets also emphasize the importance of climate justice and health equity.
The environmental health (EH) workforce plays a unique role in climate mitigation and adaptation. Our October 2020 COVID-19 Environmental Health Workforce Needs Assessment II Report has demonstrated that environmental health is predominantly carried out on a local level and our membership of over 6,700 EH professionals is largely comprised of local jurisdiction staff. EH professionals play a critical role in educating the community, conducting local environmental assessments, and providing recommendations on interventions and policies. Climate and health experts should collaborate with and leverage the expertise and experience held by local EH professionals as a resource to accomplish climate and health goals at the local level. Each of the seven fact sheets provides concrete actions and recommendations that the EH workforce can implement to address the respective topic.
Climate and health professionals can produce innovative solutions to help mitigate the health impacts of climate change when engaging professionals across multiple sectors, including the EH workforce. Through the climate and health fact sheets, NEHA recognizes and encourages our members’ work in climate change education, mitigation, and adaptation.
Rosie DeVito, MPH, is a Program Manager at NEHA and Madelyn Gustafson is a Project Coordinator at NEHA.
NEHA is a partner of Climate for Health, a coalition of health leaders committed to caring for our climate to care for our health. Founded by ecoAmerica, Climate for Health offers tools, resources, and communications to demonstrate visible climate leadership, inspiring and empowering health leaders to speak about, act on and advocate for climate solutions. Learn more about our partnership and the resources available to you here. You can also sign up for the Climate for Health Ambassadors Training at the NEHA Annual Educational Conference here, and join us for a special co-hosted episode of Let’s Talk Climate with NEHA on July 15 here.
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