Why It Matters
Climate change is the single greatest threat to public health in the 21st century. It already impacts all facets of our lives from more extreme weather, wildfires, and disasters to rising sea levels, increased air pollution, and the likelihood of more disease.
A new report released by the World Health Organization warns that climate change is the “single biggest health threat facing humanity.” The report points out that climate change is already impacting the lives and health of millions of people in various ways, and that while “no one is safe from these risks,” people in low-income communities are most vulnerable.
This week, international leaders from business, government, and civil society gather in New York City for the 14th annual Climate Week, to showcase progress and raise awareness of global climate action that still needs to take place. We know that human health and planetary health are inextricably linked. We also know that strategies that address climate health impact human health as well. Many green building certifications now encourage organizations to assess and disclose their carbon emissions, set science-based reduction targets and move toward carbon neutrality. These features focus on direct climate action by holding organizations accountable for their actual greenhouse gas emissions and tracking their progress toward those targets.
The connection between planetary health and human health is why IWBI added an innovation feature to the WELL Building Standard (WELL) that rewards climate leadership, with the goal of accelerating emission reductions in the face of ever-increasing public health impacts from an already changing climate. The Innovation Feature on Carbon Disclosure and Reduction encourages organizations to assess and disclose their carbon emissions, set science-based reduction targets and move toward carbon neutrality. The feature focuses on direct climate action by holding organizations accountable for their actual greenhouse gas emissions and tracking their progress toward those targets.
“We simply can’t have healthy people without a healthy planet.” Dr. Whitney Austin Gray
If you’re looking for suggestions on how you can make a difference check out this link: https://care.ca/climate-action-week/