Climate change is a public health issue amounting to billions in medical costs

September 20, 2019 by  
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The environment shapes our society. Hence, as climate change worsens, so do healthcare costs. Both the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) jointly warn that because of these serious healthcare and medical costs, climate change is essentially a public health crisis . The NRDC-UCSF study is unprecedented. In previous surveys, healthcare costs had not been included in valuations of climate change damages. But with the NRDC-UCSF findings, links can now be established correlating health data with climate change. Prior governmental analyses only scrutinized costs related to property, agriculture and infrastructure losses. They neglected to consider costs related to mortality, hospitalization (emergency visits, outpatient medical care, prescribed medications) and lost wages. Related: Doctor’s orders — 2 hours in nature boosts mental health, study says Now, with NRDC’s new model, the research team quantified how climate change bears down on Americans’ health by examining the associated health costs. The study findings show that, over the course of 10 climate-sensitive events from the year 2012, Americans endured more than $10 billion in healthcare costs. As climate change exacerbates, costs will continue to rise. “Climate change represents a major public health emergency, but its destructive and expensive toll on Americans’ health has largely been absent from the climate policy debate,” stated Dr. Vijay Limaye, lead author and NRDC scientist. “Our research shows that health-related costs added at least another 26 percent to the national price tag for 2012 severe weather-related damages.” The research team exhorts that unchecked climate-related events will economically burden communities, especially unprepared ones. In particular, 10 harmful environmental issues — including allergenic pollen, extreme weather , harmful algal blooms, heat waves, hurricanes, infectious diseases from ticks and mosquitoes, ozone smog pollution, river flooding and wildfires —  merit public health attention. “This continuing untold human suffering and staggering cost is another reason we must take assertive action to curb climate change now,” Dr. Limaye warned. “Cutting greenhouse gas pollution and expanding clean energy , while also investing in preparedness and climate adaptation, is the prescription for a safer, healthier future.” NRDC recommends that investment in preparedness could save billions of dollars in future health costs and thus help to save lives. The research team likewise urges more comprehensive cost analyses to inform policy making, improved tracking of climate change-related outcomes as they relate to health issues, strategic community planning for climate adaptation (e.g. health advisories, early warning systems, better disease surveillance, even community redesign to better handle floods, hurricanes and wildfires) and nationwide efforts to reduce climate change triggers like pollution. NRDC also advises that taking steps now to counteract extreme climate change events would cost up to five times less than paying for event-related health consequences. Study co-author and NRDC senior scientist Kim Knowlton confirmed this. “Our research signals that all told, there could be tens to hundreds of billions of dollars in health costs already from recent climate-related exposures nationwide,” Knowlton said. “It’s clear that failing to address climate change, and soon, will cost us a fortune, including irreversible damage to our health.” + NRDC + GeoHealth Image via Robyn Wright

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Climate change is a public health issue amounting to billions in medical costs

Blockchain, the missing link for reporting?

August 29, 2019 by  
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A new blockchain project is connecting over 450 chambers of commerce around the world that want to address climate change.

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Blockchain, the missing link for reporting?

Blockchain, the missing link for reporting?

August 29, 2019 by  
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A new blockchain project is connecting over 450 chambers of commerce around the world that want to address climate change.

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Blockchain, the missing link for reporting?

The Building Decarbonization Coalition’s quest to build an all-electric future

August 29, 2019 by  
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The organization’s founder and director, Panama Bartholomy, chats about the magnitude of the challenge and what it means for companies.

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The Building Decarbonization Coalition’s quest to build an all-electric future

Corporations could be the best weapon in combating climate change

January 15, 2019 by  
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Now that the capitalist system is sufficiently motivated to address climate change, it can become a powerful force to accelerate progress.

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Corporations could be the best weapon in combating climate change

GreenFin funds the sustainability transition

February 5, 2018 by  
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Finding the trillions needed to address climate and the SDGs will take more than a just few progressive banks.

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GreenFin funds the sustainability transition

Sustainability is the future of management

February 5, 2018 by  
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In the long run, we shouldn’t need silos between sustainability functions and the rest of a company’s management.

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Sustainability is the future of management

Circular water management: Still a drop in the bucket

February 5, 2018 by  
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For many large companies, water-related risks are still not a key factor in strategic decision-making.

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Circular water management: Still a drop in the bucket

5 innovative ways companies can tackle climate change

July 23, 2013 by  
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Business can learn a thing or two from local businesses finding innovative ways to address climate change.

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5 innovative ways companies can tackle climate change

How Obama Can Use Executive Powers to Address Climate Change (Video)

February 18, 2011 by  
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Interview with William Becker A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with William Becker, the Executive Director Presidential Climate Action Project , to talk about the Obama administration’s toolkit for addressing global warming. Clearly, that toolkit is now missing some of its most essential components — there will be no Congressional support for climate anytime soon, and the EPA is under fire — but that doesn’t mean that Obama doesn’t have some strong executive authority to address climate

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How Obama Can Use Executive Powers to Address Climate Change (Video)

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