More than 190 nations came to a climate change agreement Saturday at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris. Photo by COP21

More than 190 nations came to a climate change agreement Saturday at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris. Photo by COP21

On Saturday, more than 190 countries came together in Paris to create an enormous public health victory: a global agreement to reduce carbon pollution and fight the harmful health effects created by climate change.

Highlighting the agreement at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was an investment in a “low-carbon future,” including requirements from each participating country to set targets for reducing carbon emissions every five years.

The U.S. also took greater steps to combat climate change, including  joining “Mission Innovation,” a coalition of 20 nations seeking to create global, affordable clean energy, and doubling U.S. grant-based public finance for climate change adaptation by 2020 — expanding on more than $400 million per year investments it committed last year to developing countries.

“This plan is a crucial investment in global health that will ultimately save lives and decrease health care costs,” APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, said in a release. “We strongly support President Barack Obama’s commitment to combating climate change and are proud that the U.S. is leading the fight to create a healthier environment for generations to come.”

Check out APHA’s climate change page for the latest science, advocacy and stories from the public health field.