Grand Challenge on Climate Change, Human Health, and Equity
Climate change represents one of the most significant threats to human health in the 21st century. The Grand Challenge on Climate Change, Human Health, and Equity (Climate Grand Challenge) is a multi-year global initiative to improve and protect human health, well-being, and equity by working to transform systems that both contribute to and are impacted by climate change.
The Climate Grand Challenge has four strategic objectives:
Communicate the climate crisis as a public health and equity crisis
Develop a roadmap for systems transformation
Catalyze the health sector to reduce its climate footprint and ensure its resilience
Accelerate research and innovation at the intersection of climate, health, and equity
Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector
A new public-private partnership of leaders from across the health system committed to addressing the sector’s environmental impact while strengthening its sustainability and resilience
Featuring the Climate Grand Challenge at the NAM Annual Meeting
The 2021 NAM Annual Meeting on Crossing the Policy and Equity Chasm: Lessons from Compounding Health Crises featured rousing discussions around climate change and human health. One of the scientific symposium’s panels focused on actionable policy in climate change and human health. We were also pleased to welcome remarks from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, and Gina McCarthy, the National Climate Advisor.
In addition, Victor Dzau, president of the NAM, hosted a forum spotlighting the Climate Grand Challenge and the focus on the imperative of the health sector to work together to address climate change impacts on health in order to build a healthier, more equitable, and more resilient society.
At the 50th Annual Meeting on October 19, 2020, Dr. Dzau announced the Climate Grand Challenge.
Catalyzing Innovative Projects at the Interface of Human Health and Climate Change: Opportunity Grants
On December 5-6, 2019, the National Academies hosted an expert meeting to present the latest science and new opportunities for research and investment at the intersection of climate change and human health. Co-funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF), the meeting was designed to inform programmatic directions for the NAM and the National Academies. The NAM partnered with the BWF to provide funding for “opportunity grants” to interdisciplinary teams across the National Academies to explore promising ideas at the intersection of climate change and human health. The aim is to stimulate new, interdisciplinary projects across the National Academies, as well as to catalyze broader stakeholder interest and engagement in these issues. Grantees will be conducting their project development activities through November 2020 and will prepare a summary of outputs, impacts, outcomes, and next steps in December.
- Climate at the National Academies (resource hub)
- Environmental Health Matters Initiative (resource hub)
- COP26 Presents Historic Opportunity for a More Sustainable Future, Says Victor Dzau and Presidents of National Academies (2021 presidents’ statement)
- Climate Conversations: Pathways to Action (monthly webinar series)
- Climate Conversations: Decarbonizing the Health Sector (webinar)
- America’s Climate Choices (consensus report series)
- Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health (2011 consensus report)
- Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters (2015 consensus report)
- The Nexus of Biofuels, Climate Change, and Human Health (2014 workshop summary)
- Modeling the Health Risks of Climate Change (2015 workshop summary)
- Protecting the Health and Well-Being of Communities in a Changing Climate (2018 workshop proceedings)
- Deployment of Deep Decarbonization Technologies (2019 workshop proceedings)
Elizabeth Finkelman, Senior Program Officer
Jessica Marx, Program Officer
Bailey Radenbaugh, Senior Program Assistant
Talia Lewis, Communications Associate
Samantha Phillips, Communications Officer
Burroughs Wellcome Fund