Climate Change and Health
Climate change is fundamentally caused by human behavior and impacts every facet of human health and healthcare delivery. As the premier society that examines health and behavior, we have the unique responsibility and capability to address this existential threat to human health.
Through SBM's 2019-20 Provocative Questions initiative, led by then-President Michael Diefenbach, PhD, members and others in the field identified climate change as the most pressing issue that should be addressed in the next 20 years. Climate change and health is now one of SBM's policy advocacy priority areas. Our policy ambassadors educate lawmakers about evidence-based behavioral ways to mitigate climate change and its adverse effects on health, particularly for vulnerable populations. SBM has a Climate Change and Health Special Interest Group (SIG) In Formation, and SBM’s strategic plan calls for enhanced partnership with other organizations focused on climate change and carbon reduction. Among other partnerships, SBM was approved as an official network organization in the National Academy of Medicine's Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector, which is committed to working collectively on solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change, while centering and maximizing human health and equity.
Additional SBM climate-related activities are detailed below.
Publications, Statements, and Sign Ons
- The Impact of Climate Change on Health and Behavior (Translational Behavioral Medicine special section, April 2022)
- Behavioral Medicine and Climate Change: Strategies That Benefit Your Health and the Planet (SBM Healthy Living article)
- Next NIH Director Must Value Behavioral Medicine Solutions to Climate Change, COVID-19, and Systemic Racism (letter to Dr. Francis Collins)
- Call for Emergency Action to Limit Global Temperature Increases, Restore Biodiversity, and Protect Health (joint editorial)
- We Need to Address Climate Change Now (MomentUs statement)
- America’s Health Organizations Call on Congress to Invest in Protecting and Promoting Health in Response to the Climate Crisis (letter to Congress)
- US Call to Action on Climate, Health, and Equity (policy agenda)
- Healthy Climate Prescription (letter to world leaders)
- National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector (official Climate Collaborative Network organization)
- Lancet Countdown (official partner)
- ecoAmerica (member)
- American Climate Leadership Summit (endorser)
- SBM's 2022 Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions: Conference theme highlights climate change as a public health emergency, and high-profile talks and educational sessions are designed to motivate attendees to see their work as relevant to adapting to and mitigating the health effects of climate change (April 6-9, 2022)
- Webinar: The Fundamentals of Climate Change and Health Behavior Change (July 31, 2020; in partnership with the National Cancer Institute)
- Webinar: Climate Change, Behavior Change, and Health: Tackling Global Challenges Together (October 2, 2020; in partnership with the National Cancer Institute)
- Twitter Chat: Climate Change and Health (July 2020)