Former Vice President Al Gore, APHA and others announced they would host a meeting on climate change and health Feb. 16 in Atlanta. The event will fill the gap left by the recently canceled Climate and Health Summit, originally to be hosted and sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others.
“This meeting fills an important void and will strengthen the public health response to this growing threat,” said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin in a news release and whose organization is spearheading a yearlong initiative to champion the issue: Year of Climate Change and Health.
The original meeting was canceled in the lead up to the change in presidential administrations.
“Today we face a challenging political climate, but climate shouldn’t be a political issue,” said Gore in a news release. “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.”
Others joining APHA and Gore’s Climate Reality Project in organizing the event include Harvard Global Health Institute and the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment.
“The evidence is clear that climate change is a major threat facing the public’s health,” said Ashish Jha, 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.”
Those wishing to attend as a member of the public health community or as a local official should visit: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/health.
APHA’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo scheduled for November will also focus on climate change as a public health issue.