Photo By Jim Mahoney for Coverage
Leveraging science from across Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and beyond, we inspire climate action by making it personal, actionable, and urgent.
Our programs include:
Empowering medical professionals to be effective leaders
Climate change matters to doctors, nurses and their patients. Through our Climate MD program, we help medical professionals add their voice to the national conversation by:
- Reaching health leaders through health care journalists and major medical journals
- Updating clinical guidance to reflect climate risks
- Educating medical leaders on the impacts of climate on health
- Communicating directly with patients
Building Climate Resilient Community Health Clinics
Helping under-resourced clinics increase disaster readiness and improve patient care
We are preparing community health clinics to address climate-related impacts on health and healthcare delivery to help buffer risks to the patients they serve, often in areas that face air pollution, dangerous heat waves, and extreme weather, which can interrupt operations and care.
With support from Biogen, we are working with Americares to develop a Climate Resilience Toolkit to help clinics in every region of the U.S. reduce harm when disaster strikes.
This project, part of our Climate MD program, is the first of its kind to focus on safety-net clinics and the unique needs of low-income communities disproportionately affected by climate change in the U.S.
Entertainment Industry Outreach
Integrating climate themes into all media
Our powerful collaboration with the Environmental Media Association (EMA) focuses on integrating climate themes into movies, TV series, shareable content, and other media so that climate challenges and solutions become part of everyday conversations. The more audiences learn and talk about climate change, the more they are empowered to take action and protect their future.
Together we aim to educate the Hollywood community to help show runners, producers, writers, and influencers integrate action-oriented climate imagery and messaging into productions. EMA brings deep and vast connections throughout the industry and we bring science and proven success with adapting messaging to Hollywood audiences.
Our Reel Science initiative features actors asking experts about how climate impacts health.
Kids and Climate
Protecting kids from the health effects of climate change
We highlight prevention strategies to keep kids healthy. We empower families, schools, health care providers, and other key stakeholders to act now to protect kids’ health today and in the future by:
- Collaborating with parenting publications
- Bringing climate change into pediatric practices through our collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Creating educational materials for parents and caregivers
- Inspiring and engaging parents and young people to take climate action
- Visiting classrooms to teach children about the health benefits of climate action
Ensuring more coverage of meaningful and effective climate actions
- Using our voice: We serve as regular sources for journalists and offer analyses of key moments in public discourse through op-eds, like this one by our director Dr. Aaron Bernstein and former Director Gina McCarthy in the New England Journal of Medicine, urging health care providers to get active on climate.
- Training journalists: To give editors and reporters the tools they need to identify new stories, use health framing, and focus on solutions, we create strategic partnerships with media organizations to build original programming and participate in professional development events, including:
- A 3-day intensive Covering Climate Change workshop with support from the MacArthur and Nieman Foundations. Read the case study.
- Online webinars for Report for America and the Association of Healthcare Journalists.
- In-person trainings at the Kavli Science Editing Workshop, MIT Knight Science Journalism, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
- Editorial planning. We provide advice and story ideas to help media organizations strategically plan their climate coverage. A few examples include the Covering Climate Now Initiative, Boston Globe, Inside EPA, WBUR, Kaiser Health News, and the Weather Channel.
Using science to inform policy decisions
We inform the design of climate actions that maximize health benefits, particularly for those most vulnerable, and share it with change makers to build a healthier, more sustainable future. Our research focuses on:
- Health impacts of fossil fuels: Recent research found many more people live closer to underground natural gas storage wells similar to the Aliso Canyon facility than previously thought.
- Health impacts of federal, state and regional climate policies and proposals: Small-scale actions can make a difference in reducing pollution. Recent research includes:
- Recommendations for climate mitigation and adaptation strategies to create a healthier future, especially for vulnerable populations and children in the 2019 Lancet Countdown U.S. Policy Brief. Learn more
- Measuring the potential health and equity benefits of regional transportation policies aimed at curbing climate change. Learn more
- Understanding the health impacts of the EPA proposed a rollback of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). Learn more
Supporting Future Leaders
We provide mentorship and empower young people to be climate leaders through:
- Student Ambassadors: This year-long program selects students from each department at Harvard Chan School to act as liaisons and think critically about climate change and the potential impacts on their fields of study. Learn more
- Hosting skills-based workshops and lecture series: To equip students with critical skills related to communications, policy, management, and leadership, we host workshops and lectures designed to help them become effective agents of change.
- Climate Is Health: Educational Resources on Climate, Health and COVID-19: This five-part series for teachers and students explores the connections between climate change and public health. Learn more
- Elevating student activists: We support the wave of youth demanding climate action by providing ongoing media relations support to many of these youth leaders.