Washington (September 14, 2017) – In advance of the United Nations climate meetings in New York next week, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) and Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17) today introduced the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act, legislation that will help improve America’s public health response to climate change by supporting research, monitoring, and preparation in the health sector and by developing a national action plan. The legislation would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services acting through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a National Strategic Action Plan to assist health professionals in preparing for and responding to the public health effects of climate change.
“Climate change threatens the health of people and the planet,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Chair of the Senate Climate Change Task Force. “Our country is suffering first-hand the effects of storms that are delivering more rain, higher winds, and greater storm surges from rising seas. Climate change gets personal when the risks of food, water and mosquito and tick transmitted diseases increases and air pollution harms lungs. We need to take action to address the health impacts of climate change that are already happening and prepare for those that are coming. I thank Rep. Cartwright for his partnership on legislation that recognizes that we need a national action plan to respond to the public health impacts of climate change.”
“Hurricanes Irma and Harvey demonstrated the often tragic results of climate change,” said Rep. Cartwright. “But climate change doesn’t only appear as a disastrous storm. Climate change impacts our lives daily – from the air we breathe and to the water we drink. We need to take action. This bill is a significant step towards safeguarding our environment and public health, protecting our communities, and saving in health care costs. I look forward to working with my colleagues to improve our nation’s public health response to climate change.”
Specifically, the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act would:

  • Provide technical support to state and local health departments to develop preparedness plans and conduct community outreach;
  • Enhance forecasting and modeling, track environmental and disease data and expand research capacity to better understand the relationship between climate change and health.
  • Enhance domestic and international tracking capacity for infectious diseases and environmental health indicators;
  • Develop a coordinated research and preparedness agenda on climate and health.

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.