The Climate Change and Health Task Force seeks to work closely with our state government representatives to identify and lobby for climate-conscious legislation, continue to work closely with allies such as the American Lung Association on important climate change work, and organize educational and skills training sessions on climate change to become more effective advocates.
Amanda Millstein, MD, FAAP & Lisa Patel, MD, FAAP & Sarah Schear, MS4
Why is this important?
Climate change is a health emergency. Increasing temperatures, more extreme storm events, worsening air quality, rising sea levels, and a spread of vector-borne diseases with warming habitats all have a direct impact on health. Children, especially those living in communities of color and in poverty, will be among the people most directly hurt by climate change (1). Recognizing the severe impact climate change will have on children’s health, the AAP published both a national policy statement and a technical report in 2015 outlining both the health risks and the urgent need for action (2,3).
The US government recently withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, making it clear that the momentum for policy change must come from a local and state level. The International Panel on Climate Change counsels that the worst effects of climate change can be avoided if we act within the next 10 years. Pediatricians are one of the most trusted voices in the eyes of the public. Our voice, counseling, and advocacy matters– in our clinics, in schools, in the Bay Area, and across the U.S. and the globe. We can shape the narrative, the policies, and public opinion to enact the bold change this crisis demands.