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"Climate change is an emergency": PHI Statement on HR9

March 27, 2019

STATEMENT FROM linda Rudolph, MD, Director of the Public health institute's Center for climate change and health


"Today, leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced H.R. 9 - the Climate Action Now Act. The Public Health Institute strongly supports this bill, which calls for the U.S. to honor its commitment to the Paris climate agreement and requires the president to submit a plan to Congress within 120 days that outlines how the U.S. will do so.


"Climate change is a global health emergency. Climate-related heat, wildfires, storms, and floods are already impacting the health, livelihoods and security of communities across the U.S. and around the world. Air pollution—whose primary driver, fossil fuel combustion, is also the primary driver of climate change —causes hundreds of thousands of deaths in the U.S. annually. Without effective response, these harms will greatly increase. But with the right policies and investments today, we have the opportunity to fight climate change with actions that will also bring immediate health benefits to communities.


"The American people back action: 71% of Americans believe climate change is happening, and 83% of those Americans believe the federal government has a role to play in addressing it. We know that climate change is the greatest health threat of the 21st century. Fighting it will require concerted action from all nations.


"The Paris agreement is a critical step in bringing the world's nations together to respond. Withdrawing from that agreement is reckless and dangerous, threatening the health and wellbeing of communities today and of future generations. The Public Health Institute supports the Climate Action Now Act as well as policies that will put us on track for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and protecting the health of our people."