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Climate Change Policy

Role of Academia in Combatting the Impact of
Climate Change on Health

Climate Change Policy [pdf]

 Climate Change Toolkit

APTR calls upon medical and health professions schools and their academic units that teach prevention and public health to take proactive responsibility for teaching about the human-environment interaction and the impact of climate change on public and population health from a scientific and evidence-based perspective.


  • Scientific evidence is clear that climate change is a serious threat to all human health, particularly vulnerable are populations such as children and the elderly, underserved and minority communities.
  • Climate change threatens to disproportionately harm the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged; strategies to address climate change must link with efforts to address health and social inequities and human rights.
  • Climate change requires personal and collective discourse, change in governmental public policies, and institutional practices to address energy expenditures to reduce the impacts of carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Educators, public health professionals, and health professionals can play a vital role in addressing climate change, and climate by providing a forum for discourse, teaching, research, policy and practice.
  • Faculty should ensure that the future population health workforce is prepared, through education and training, to effectively address the health impacts of climate change.
  • Lesson plans and educational materials exist to promote K-12 student discovery and learning about the complex interactions between climate change, the environment and human health, little curriculum exists to easily integrate these lessons into current health professions general education.


APTR calls upon health professions schools and programs, including clinical programs and public health programs to:

  • Provide curricular opportunities, as appropriate, that expose students to the interrelated impacts of climate change from an ecological framework for human population, animal, and environmental health.
  •  Include competencies and learning outcomes in human/environmental interaction and climate change for all related academic subjects (e.g., through practical application).
  • Encourage and support research efforts by faculty and students directed to better understanding climate change, its causes, and effects.
  • Ensure adequate opportunities for faculty development on human-environment interaction and the impact of climate change to enhance knowledge.
  • Promote community education and dialogue about climate change, through a variety of channels including service on boards and taskforces.
  • Share best scientific and educational practices and curricula.
  • Develop core sets of knowledge for graduates and students
  • Foster the development of global academic partnerships to support training of health professionals, practitioners, and climate and health-related specialists.
  • Create classroom environments where innovation and opportunities are offered that allow for advancement of the field of climate science while encouraging and supporting freedom of thought and expression.
  • Foster the development of academic partnerships to support training of health professionals and climate and health-related specialists.

Health professions schools and programs, including clinical programs and public health programs, should incorporate into the curriculum the following elements:

  • Social determinants of health equity and its relationship to climate impact on health.
  • Public health roles and skills in responding to climate change including research, surveillance, and generation of new knowledge.
  • Incorporate the relationship of environmental health, chronic disease, emergency management, and climate change in health research that uses geospatial (GIS) locations as indicators.
  •  Unique stressors on all populations experienced during times of natural disasters and extreme weather events.
  • Systems thinking, policy and program development, planning, and evaluation for climate change related issues.
  • Psychological and mental health needs that arise during natural disasters and the repercussions of post-traumatic stress syndrome related to extreme weather events.
  • Faculty should ensure that the future population health workforce is prepared, through education and training, to effectively address the consequences of human-environmental interaction and the health impacts of climate change.

APTR Will:

  • Disseminate best scientific and educational practices, curricula, and evidence.
  • Promote and support adoption of human-environment interaction and climate change policies by academic institutions throughout the United States.
  • Facilitate academic units of public health and prevention to conduct research in health and health-related climate change impacts.
  • Advocate for resources in academic and health care settings for investigating, teaching, and acting in favor of actions that mitigate climate change impacts.
  • Engage stakeholders through professional organizations, educational community outreach, institutional & organizational policy development.
  • Advocate for accrediting bodies across the health science professions to include competencies and/or student learning outcome in human-environment interaction and climate change.

To review the complete Climate Change Policy >> Click Here

To access the Climate Change Toolkit >> Click Here

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