FACT SHEET: Administration Announces Actions To Protect Communities From The Impacts Of Climate Change

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

April 07, 2015

President Obama is committed to combating the health impacts of climate change and protecting the health of future generations. We know climate change is not is not a distant threat, we are already seeing impacts in communities across the country. And while most Americans see climate change hitting their communities through extreme weather events – from more severe droughts and wildfires to more powerful hurricanes and record heat waves – there are other threats climate change poses to the American people. In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting these individuals and many other vulnerable populations at greater risk of landing in the hospital.  Certain people and communities are especially vulnerable, including children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color. Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and an increased incidence of extreme-weather-related injuries.

That is why the President is taking action now. The sooner we act, the more we can do to protect the health of our communities our kids, and those that are the most vulnerable. As part of the Administration’s overall effort to combat climate change and protect the American people, this week, the Administration is announcing a series of actions that will allow us to better understand, communicate, and reduce the health impacts of climate change on our communities, including:

Executive Actions To Reduce The Health Impacts Of Climate Change:

Yesterday, April 6th, President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring April 6 -12, 2015, National Public Health Week, reinforcing the importance of our public health system and the need to take action to reduce the health impacts of climate change on our communities. Today, the Administration is announcing a series of executive actions to set us on track to better understand, communicate, and reduce the health impacts of climate change on our communities, including:

Leaders Around The Country Commit To Empowering Healthy People And Communities Through Climate Data And Innovation

Last year, the Obama Administration unveiled the Climate Data Initiative—a major effort to unleash the Federal Government’s vast open data resources to stimulate innovations that empower America’s communities and businesses to boost their own resilience against the impacts of climate change. Since March 2014, more than 500 datasets have been made available on climate.data.gov in high-priority topic areas such as food and agriculture, coastal resilience, water resources, and ecosystems. Today, the Administration is unveiling the Initiative’s “Health Resilience” theme, making more the 150 meta-tagged health-related datasets available on climate.data.gov—including key datasets from the CDC, NOAA, and several other agencies. The new theme aims to empower America’s people, communities, and health sector to more effectively plan, prepare, and strengthen their resilience to the health-impacts of climate change. New commitments to advance the Climate Data Initiative and empower healthy people and communities with science-based information and tools include:

Commitments From Academic Leaders Across The Country To Train The Next Generation Of Health Professionals To Address The Health Impacts Of Climate Change

A coalition of Deans from 30 medical, nursing, and public health schools around the country are committing to ensuring that the next generation of health professionals are trained to effectively address the health impacts of climate change. On April 9th, White House Senior Advisor Brian Deese will host a number of Deans of medical, public health and nursing universities, colleges, and schools that made this commitment for a roundtable discussion around climate change and health. Today’s commitment builds on leadership of many educators around the country that have already begun incorporating climate change into their respective programs. The schools making commitments today include:

Building On Progress:

This week’s actions build on a series of steps we are taking across the Administration through the President’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the dangerous levels of carbon pollution that are contributing to climate change, prepare our communities for the impacts that cannot be avoided, and lead internationally, including: