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), 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. SBM is also actively working to reduce the environmental impact of its in-person events.

Additional SBM climate-related activities are detailed below.

climate kids


  • Webinar: Climate Change, Health and Obesity (May 26, 2022; in partnership with The Obesity Society)
  • 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)