National Academy of Medicine

Why We Need Climate, Health, and Equity in All Policies

By Solange Gould, Linda Rudolph
December 09, 2014 | Commentary

Climate change, health equity, social and environmental justice, sustainability: These are each hugely important and complex issues in their own right. But we cannot afford to address them separately: The root causes are the same, the stakes too high, the need for action too urgent, and the opportunities for synergy too great. People in the United States and around the world are already experiencing the effects of climate change. These effects will increase as the global and local impacts of climate change worsen. At the same time, increasing levels of social inequality heighten persistent and unacceptable health inequities. Climate change will even further exacerbate health inequities.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.