Getting Involved in Climate Change Planning
Opportunities for Public Health
Climate change may well be one of the greatest threats to human health in this century. But by getting involved in climate change policy initiatives now under way across the country, public health advocates have a prime opportunity to help mitigate the health effects of climate change – while helping people live healthier lives in their own communities today.
Across the country, public health advocates are exploring how planning tools and economic development policies can change neighborhoods to improve public health. And many strategies designed to create healthier communities also can help stem the effects of climate change.
In California, the state’s groundbreaking Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375) is the nation’s first legislation to link transportation funding, land use planning, and housing policy with greenhouse gas reduction goals. It’s clear, for instance, that making streets safe and convenient for pedestrians can promote physical activity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Making it easier for communities to hold farmers’ markets and getting more produce into corner stores brings healthy foods to underserved areas, and it decreases pollution by expanding opportunities for local and regional growers.
These two ChangeLab Solutions fact sheets show how public health advocates can get involved in climate change planning to help bring health priorities into long-term community planning efforts.