Putting Science into Climate Action

Solutions-based research shaping climate actions that build a healthy, more just, and sustainable world.

From our landmark study showing coal impacting health at every stage of its life cycle, to our research on toxics in gas stoves and the benefits of clean energy, to our educational programs reaching students around the world, the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment has been translating innovative science from across Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for over 25 years.

Our mission is to deliver solutions-based research and use education and outreach to shape climate actions that improve the health of our most vulnerable populations like children, seniors, and environmental justice communities.

By making climate change personal, highlighting solutions, and emphasizing the important role we all play in driving change, we help decision makers understand the health consequences of our addiction to fossil fuels, put health and equity at the center of climate actions, and keep people safe by guiding the health care industry’s response to climate change.

  • Turning Evidence into Action Through Policy-Focused Research We support the design of climate actions that maximize health benefits, particularly for the most vulnerable populations. Our researchers conduct cutting-edge analyses to engage and inform the public and decision makers about the impacts of climate policies and regulatory actions.
  • Training Climate Leaders Through Education We provide training, mentoring, skills-based workshops, and more for students and health professionals. This includes a Harvard Chan Student Ambassador Program, a fellowship program for researchers and clinicians, an annual Youth Climate Summit for high school students, and a free HarvardX course that has reached over 160,000 students in more than 100 countries.
  • Changing the Climate Narrative Through Targeted Outreach We shift attitudes away from climate doom towards hope by increasing storytelling about effective climate actions. We work with the media, content creators, the entertainment industry, and more to make climate change personal, bring people together, and increase access to Harvard research.

2022 Highlights

  • Our researchers published nearly two dozen studies, journal articles, and commentaries which we used to secure over 180 interviews and 670 media clips across local, national, and global outlets like New York Times, AP, CNN, and NPR.
  • We welcomed 122 high school students from 25 states and nine countries to our Youth Summit on Climate, Equity, and Health and financially supported 1/5 of the students.
  • Through our Climate MD program, our physicians raised awareness of the benefits of climate actions with policymakers and trained health professionals to advocate for climate solutions and adapt their clinical practices to protect patients’ health.
  • We launched the Climate Resilience for Frontline Clinics toolkit to help community health centers and clinics better manage care and protect vulnerable patients from climate risks like extreme heat, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods.
  • We shifted attitudes away from climate doom towards hope with our Climate Optimist newsletter, which grew nearly 30%, securing media coverage, and writing the definition of ‘climate optimism’ for Google.
  • To combat misinformation, inspire action, and reach new audiences, we launched Climate Creators to Watch and brought creators to Harvard to educate our researchers and staff on how to use social media effectively.