The Center for Climate and Health
Who we are
The Center for Climate and Health is a global center bringing together scholars, community organizers, and policy-makers to understand the impact of climate change on human health and to intervene to mitigate impacts.
As one of the largest academic centers focused on climate and health, the Center for Climate and Health harnesses the expertise of Boston University School of Public Health’s world-class scholars and researchers to tackle climate-related threats to human health on a global scale. Inherently, we have the largest concentration of scholars and researchers in the world to help us facilitate our mission. The center is strategically focused on projects addressing extreme heat, mental and behavioral health following humanitarian disasters, and health disparities arising from the unequal distribution of resources to address climate-related health events. The Center for Climate and Health exists to place a strong emphasis on community engagement with social justice serving as a vital element of our collective efforts.
The Center for Climate and Health strives to foster partnerships with vulnerable communities to effectively address critical areas of need and gaps within access to resources.
- Quantifying the health impacts of heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires, air pollution, and other climate hazards—now and into the future
- Providing evidence needed to support adaptive measures
- Identifying individuals and populations at greatest risk
- Understanding the role of healthy housing in climate change adaptation and resilience
- Assessing how access to green space and the built environment impacts our vulnerability to climate hazards
- Demonstrating the health and economic benefits of individual actions and local interventions
- Estimating the immediate health benefits of long-term climate change mitigation policies
Why we’re here
Let’s start right at the top. Climate change is happening right now. Each and every day we’re contributing positively or negatively to the way climate change informs the very trajectory of our existence. How? Let’s list some examples:
- Extreme heat events are driving people to emergency rooms
- Air and water quality are degrading
- Tropical diseases are spreading
- Severe weather events are more frequent
What’s more is, businesses are feeling the impact – sick days, lost productivity, economic decline, etc. The havoc climate change is wreaking is very real.
As we experience more intense weather events and extremes in surface temperatures there is a critical need for initiatives such as those defined here at the Center for Climate and Health, which will produce actionable research for understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change. The threat of drought, air pollution, wildfires, and extreme heat events extends far beyond environmental impacts. Continual threats to health, economic stability, and infrastructure are an inevitable result of climate-related events around the world.
The links between climate change and human health are seemingly endless
Increased heat and extreme weather events can lead to:
- Population displacement
- Mental stress
- Disruptions in healthcare services
Civil unrest resulting from drought, famine, and resource scarcity are moving entire populations of people. These adverse health outcomes are already surfacing in many global communities, with the most vulnerable being those based in cities and less socioeconomic advantaged.
The effects of climate change influence economic stability
Increased heat and extreme weather can lead to loss of property and unhealthy living and work environments. Air pollution and pest-borne illnesses are increasing, as are related rates of asthma, allergies, and infectious disease—all of which lead to higher healthcare spending and sick days.
Ultimately, the physical and mental health of populations can lead to variations in work conditions, productivity, and economic decline. The Center for Climate and Health is charged with conducting actionable research about specific climate-health effects and the health benefits of climate mitigation programs. Knowledge created through these initiatives will be translated into programs, data resources, and tools that can be used at the local-, national-, and global levels to improve climate-related health outcomes.
The Center for Climate and Health is charged with conducting actionable research about specific climate-health effects and the health benefits of climate mitigation programs. Knowledge created through these initiatives will be translated into programs, data resources, and tools that can be used at the local-, national-, and global levels to improve climate-related health outcomes.
Let’s work together to inform positive change
How businesses can get involved (and why your involvement is vital)
A substantial amount of academic research related to climate change takes place outside of the discipline of public health. This is why Center for Climate and Health is seeking businesses with a philanthropic guise to collaborate with us and help define a healthier tomorrow.
Work with Center for Climate and Health and BU to develop innovative products and services to meet climate-health needs
Opportunities might include:
- Sensing technologies
- Mobile health applications
- Service innovations
Sponsor research capacity through innovative data science applications
Participate in building a global data repository to drive innovation in:
- Products, and
Sponsor a community
Improve the health of your local community by sponsoring climate-health mitigation programs.
Our work in action
Here are a few examples of how collaborative efforts between our collective research and data science resources at BUSPH and partnering businesses have made important strides toward a more equitable and healthful future.