In the news

Announcing the Center for Climate and Health

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This past Earth Day was a memorable milestone for our community at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and idea hub. In spirit and commemoration of the day that traditionally marks the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, we announced the launch of the world’s largest academic Center for Climate and Health (CCH).

Due to the radical and crucial work of the environment and climate health pioneers in the 1960s, our global understanding of climate change impacts on health has grown immensely. At a similar rate, society has made progress in accepting the scientific evidence, which inspired collaborative action and accountability. Entities on an individual-, community-, industry-, and governmental- level have made a point to assess their environmental footprint and investments in building a greener planet. However, despite the tremendous progress, we know there is still work to do.

Climate change is just getting warmed up

There are countless adverse health outcomes associated with drought, air pollution, wildfires, extreme heat, and other climate-related events that have life-changing consequences for populations. Around the globe, climate effects have already caused fatalities, displacement, trauma, mental stress, and disruptions in healthcare services. The civil unrest is only expected to worsen as the threat of climate change intensifies, directly influencing human health and the economy.

With extreme weather events and climate conditions becoming more apparent and severe each year, the Center for Climate and Health strives to advance innovative solutions and interventions to build resiliency within communities. The center is led by BUSPH researcher and faculty member, Gregory Wellenius, who has extensive experience in launching programs on climate and health. Wellenius hopes the CCH “will increase the reach and the impact of the great work in this area that is already taking place at BUSPH.” Utilizing a reservoir of groundbreaking BUSPH research and the world’s largest concentration of scholars, the center is structured to do just that. Bridging research and application, it will begin to tackle the following areas of climate and health:

  • Air pollution: Minimizing growing health risks and ensuring benefits to health and equity during the transition to low-carbon futures
  • Greenspaces, or lack thereof: Understanding their effects on health in urban environments
  • Extreme heat: Analyzing impacts on physical and mental health
  • Temperature-specific effects: Exploring the effects of temperature on physical, mental, and behavioral health

The breadth of work and research conducted at the CCH will steadily expand further to bolster climate mitigation and adaptation efforts on a local, national, and global scale, which idea hub aids by fostering partnerships to apply these initiatives.

Creating a healthier tomorrow means investing in a healthier today

Protecting population health requires preemptive action rather than reaction. Taking charge to identify areas of development and opportunity within workplaces, policy, and practice is a critical first step in sustaining wellbeing.

With an expansive team of researchers equipped to advise and facilitate targeted climate health initiatives for your community and organizational needs, the Center for Climate and Health can help build resilience to climate-related impacts. Planning for severe climate change events can no longer be put on hold. Whether mitigation or contingency plans for supply chain interruptions, fluctuations in employment trends, or incorporating more greenspaces, communities, and industries need to be prepared.

Climate change solutions are not one-size-fits-all

Climate change is universal. However, the severity and distribution of effects vary geographically. Elements such as location, population density, and infrastructure, contribute to the types of climate impacts experienced. Considering this, the largest contributor to making real change in your community is you.

The Center for Climate and Health prioritizes community collaboration and engagement to ensure the interventions in focus effectively and appropriately address their specific needs. Without community stakeholders as a priority, sustainable solutions cannot be guaranteed.

BUSPH researcher and Assistant Professor of Environmental Health, Amruta Nori-Sarma, explains, “people are focused on how we can address these issues equitably and understand the needs of different communities, and they are gaining the ability to advocate for the things that they need in order to make their own lives healthier.”

Let’s collaborate for positive climate and health change

Your collaboration as an individual, community member, or organization is needed at the Center for Climate and Health. It’s essential in our collective quest for the betterment of healthier communities and, in turn, a more fruitful economy. Connect with us today to see how you can join the collaborative efforts to create solutions for climate change in your community.

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