Grand Challenge on Climate Change, Human Health, and Equity

Climate change is among the most important and urgent global health threats and opportunities of the 21st Century. 

About the Program

Recognizing this, the NAM launched a Grand Challenge on Climate Change, Human Health, and Equity in 2020. The 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 five strategic objectives


  1. Communicate the climate crisis as a public health and equity crisis 
  2. Develop a comprehensive roadmap for systems transformation 
  3. Catalyze the health sector to reduce its climate footprint and ensure its resilience 
  4. Accelerate research and innovation at the nexus of climate, health, and equity 
  5. Reduce climate-related health inequities


Exploring climate and health with next generation research leaders

Climate Grand Challenge Work Streams

Climate Communities Network

Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector

Communicating About Climate Change & Health

Research and Innovation

Roadmap for Systems Transformation

Coming soon!

Why Climate Change Matters for Human Health and Equity

While many consider climate change to be a looming environmental threat—one that stands to impact future generations more so than today—millions of people die globally every year because of health issues linked to climate change. Further, these health threats and impacts are not evenly distributed or experienced across geographies or populations, but rather, are disproportionately burdening historically and currently marginalized populations, due to systemic inequities. The climate crisis is a public health and equity crisis that will continue to pose significant threats in the absence of concerted action.

The Climate Grand Challenge will highlight the most robust actions to address climate change that could yield a healthier, more equitable, and more resilient society. The NAM will serve as a unifying hub for any organization or individual who cares about this issue to come together and take action, to ultimately catalyze a climate and health movement. 

Highlighting organizational climate actions: Supports exist to help institutions in mitigating their environmental footprint. For example, IRA implementation can enable hospitals to pave a greener and more sustainable way forward while curbing costs.  

Highlighting individual climate actions: Many individuals are committed to responding to climate change. For example, the NAM invited future health professionals to share their visions for how the health sector can address climate impacts on human health.  


Chris Hanley, Senior Program Officer 
Franque Alexander, Program Specialist
Camila Anderson, Senior Program Assistant

Funmi Chinekezi, Program Officer
Vijay Iyer, Associate Program Officer

Emma Lower-McSherry, Research Associate 
Jessica Marx, Senior Program Officer 
Justin Massey, Associate Program Officer 
Samantha Phillips, Communications Officer
Grace Robbins, Associate Program Officer 


Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Grantham Foundation
JPB Foundation​
McCall MacBain Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation

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