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White House Holds Summit on Climate Change and Public Health

The White House held its first ever summit on Climate Change and Public Health on June 23. The event brought together senior White House officials, health professionals, academics and other important stakeholders with the goal of providing communities with the information and tools they need to protect public health in the face of climate change.

The sooner we act to address the impacts of climate change the better off we will be. We’ve seen that spring is coming earlier and summers are warmer in recent years which has led to extended allergy seasons. Allergies and asthma affect our most vulnerable populations—our children, the elderly and the poor. When public and private health groups, advocates and public officials come together to address these problems, the more successful we are in our efforts.

The cost of inaction on climate change is higher than the cost of action. Never has there been a time when a regulation to clean up pollution has not created jobs or spurred economic growth while also protecting the environment. The U.S. cannot slow down, we must move forward. U.S. action is important as we head into key discussions around the UN Climate summit in Paris later this year. U.S. action will spur the action of other countries like China and India.

Since the President announced his Climate Action Plan in the summer of 2013, the U.S. has made major moves to clean up pollution and improve our infrastructure. With the anticipated finalization of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and New Source Pollution Standards later this summer, the President and the EPA will have done what no other administration has done before –  formulated an historic, life-saving measure to cut carbon pollution from power plants that saves lives, improves health, spurs economic growth and protects our environment.

The League has been pushing people to realize the impact that climate change has not just on our environment, but on our economy and the health of our communities. Together with partners from across the spectrum we’re working to raise awareness about the dangerous effects of climate change. The League is happy to see the U.S. taking action to lead the world forward in the fight against climate change.