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President Obama, and PSR, focusing on Health Threats from Climate Change

Posted by Barbara Gottlieb on April 8, 2015

Citing immediate health impacts like asthma, allergies and extreme-weather-related injuries, President Obama announced a series of actions to help the nation "understand, communicate, and reduce the health impacts of climate change on our communities." 

Over 500 PSR health professionals signed a letter to President Obama, thanking him for introducing the Clean Power Plan and underscoring its potential for improving health by increasing states' use of energy efficiency and clean energy. With additional signatures gathered by the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and Environment America, the letter was delivered to the White House just before the president met with health professionals.

The Clean Power Plan is a proposed EPA rule that would require the states to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. It is a central piece of the President's Climate Action Plan. 

Among the many actions announced by the White House:

  • Convenings of health professionals, including a White House "Climate Change and Health Summit" later this spring that will bring together the Surgeon General and health professionals to identify opportunities to minimize climate change health impacts;
  • Launch of a coalition of medical, public health, and nursing school deans to develop curriculum that would train the next generation of health professionals to address the health impacts of climate change;
  • Upcoming releases of extensive data, information, apps, and a draft Climate and Health Assessment report on current and projected impacts of climate change on human health in the United States.

PSR has embraced the Clean Power Plan as a significant opportunity to reduce climate pollution -- assuming it is implemented through expanded adoption of energy efficiency techniques and renewable energy sources like solar and wind. PSR's Climate Health Action Teams, or CHATS, are gearing up to advocate for those health-protective approaches in their respective states.


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