January 26, 2017 — Today, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, the American Public Health Association (APHA), The Climate Reality Project, Harvard Global Health Institute, the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment and Dr. Howard Frumkin, former director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, announced a Climate & Health Meeting that will take place on February 16, 2017 at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Supported by the Turner Foundation and other organizations, the event will fill the gap left by the recently-canceled Climate & Health Summit originally to be hosted and sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others.
“They tried to cancel this conference but it is going forward anyway,” said Former U.S. Vice President and Climate Reality Founder & Chairman Al Gore. “Today we face a challenging political climate, but climate shouldn’t be a political issue. Health professionals urgently need the very best science in order to protect the public, and climate science has increasingly critical implications for their day-to-day work. With more and more hot days, which exacerbate the proliferation of the Zika virus and other public health threats, we cannot afford to waste any time.”
“Climate change is already affecting our health,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA. “This meeting fills an important void and will strengthen the public health response to this growing threat.”
2016 was the third consecutive hottest year on record, and 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001. Given the dramatic developments of infectious diseases like Zika and other related public health issues, understanding the threats climate change poses to public health is vitally important. The Climate & Health Meeting is a critical step in bringing together the diverse stakeholders who face climate-related public health issues on a daily basis.
“The evidence is clear that climate change is a major threat facing the public’s health.” said Ashish Jha, MD, a physician and Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “Openly discussing these scientific issues will help us prepare for this looming challenge and better protect the American people.”
Given the expedited timeframe of the event, the meeting will not seek to replace the full three-day conference originally planned by the CDC. However, the event will preserve the focus of the CDC conference and will be a substantive working session for participants, providing a crucial platform for members of public health professions, the climate community, and officials tasked with responding to local health problems, to come together around solutions.
If you wish to attend as a member of the public health community or as a local official, please visit: www.climaterealityproject.org/health.
For general inquiries: Deb Greenspan, firstname.lastname@example.org
APHA: Mandi Yohn, email@example.com, 202-777-2509
Climate Reality: Stacie Paxton Cobos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvard Global Health Institute: Maisie O’Malley, email@example.com, 617-384-5431
About the American Public Health Association (APHA)
APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org
About The Carter Center
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.
About The Climate Reality Project
Founded by Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to mobilizing action on climate change. With a global movement more than 5 million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Reality Leader activists, we are spreading the truth about the climate crisis and building popular support for clean energy solutions. For more information, visit www.climaterealityproject.org or follow us on Twitter at @ClimateReality.
About the Harvard Global Health Institute
Despite strong evidence that climate change will profoundly affect human health, the mechanisms have received little attention and are poorly understood. The Harvard Global Health Institute is building bridges as a convener and neutral platform, bringing together policymakers, researchers, and health practitioners to explore solutions, and fostering research to better understand how climate change will shape our health in the coming years and decades.
About the Turner Foundation
The Turner Foundation (TFI), founded in 1990, supports efforts to protect and restore our natural systems – the air, land, and water – on which all life depends. Funding priorities include growing and diversifying the movement, conserving land to protect and restore wildlife and biodiversity, catalyzing the transition to a clean energy future, and protecting and restoring water resources (freshwater and marine) for people and nature.
About the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHANGE)
CHANGE collaboratively develops and promotes innovative approaches to understanding and managing the risks of global environmental change. CHANGE conducts research and policy analysis, education and training, and technical assistance and capacity building, integrating health, environmental, and social sciences. CHANGE focuses on health outcomes associated with the consequences of global environmental changes, such as extreme weather and climate events, water and food security, and infectious diseases.