Paris Agreement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: David Fouse at 202-777-2501 or david.fouse@apha.org

Decision to withdraw from climate agreement is a disaster for public health

Statement from Georges Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association

Washington, D.C., June 1, 2017 — “President Donald Trump’s decision today to renege on U.S. commitments to fighting climate change and withdraw from the Paris Agreement has disastrous consequences for human health.

“The climate accord, which establishes a long-term framework to reduce carbon emissions among more than 190 nations, marks a historic step toward addressing one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. As a leading emitter of greenhouse gases, U.S. participation and leadership is critical to reaching target global reductions and minimizing health threats.

“This administration has already taken significant steps to roll back progress we’ve made in addressing climate change. Today’s reckless decision is further abdication of leadership at the federal level to protect public health. But our work on climate change will not be stopped. Today’s announcement underscores the importance of continued action at the state and local level to address this threat.

“The science is clear. Climate change is happening and it’s affecting our health. A changing climate affects our food supply, the spread of infectious disease, our water systems and air quality, and much more. All have significant impacts on human health.

“We will continue our efforts to educate, advocate and mobilize action around this critical public health challenge. We have designated 2017 as the Year of Climate Change and Health and the APHA 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo will focus on climate change and health in November.”

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a 145-year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Visit www.apha.org.