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Your Environment. Your Health.

Ongoing Activities

Global Environmental Health

Research, education, training, and research translation directed at health problems that are related to environmental exposures and transcend national boundaries, with a goal of improving health for all people by reducing the environmental exposures that lead to avoidable disease, disabilities, and deaths.

Scientific understanding of the links between climate change and adverse human health impacts is increasing, but there are many gaps in our knowledge. At NIEHS, we are engaged in multiple activities with other government agencies, international research and policy organizations, academia, and nongovernmental organization stakeholders to identify these knowledge gaps, craft research agenda to address them, communicate findings, and work with decision makers to incorporate this information into sound health policy and actions.

NIEHS and NIH Climate Change Activities

Climate Change and Human Health Program

The NIEHS Climate Change and Human Health Program provides coordination and leadership for NIEHS-supported research and activities related to the human health impacts of climate change. This program also coordinates climate change and health collaborations across NIEHS, NIH, and other federal agencies.

NIH-Wide Working Group on Climate Change and Health

The NIH-Wide Working Group on Climate Change and Health is a cooperative effort focused on the current and future role of NIH institutes and centers in climate change-related biomedical research. NIEHS and the Fogarty International Center (FIC) co-chair this group. NIH supports a wide variety of research projects that are relevant to the health effects of climate change from which NIH can begin to evolve a coherent research strategy. The strategy includes identifying gaps and priorities for future investments. The working group has led activities that support the development of this strategy, including a research portfolio analysis, literature surveys, interagency discussions, stakeholder engagement, and workshops and conferences on climate change and global health.

Federal Interagency Climate Change Activities

U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)

NIEHS, representing the HHS, participates as one of 13 federal agencies in the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The USGCRP coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606).

Interagency Cross-Cutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health (CCHHG)

The Interagency Cross-Cutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health (CCHHG) is a working group of the USGCRP. The CCHHG focuses on defining research and scientific priorities across the federal government related to the human health consequences of climate change. The CCHHG identifies current knowledge gaps and helps set priorities for data monitoring and integration, public health adaptation, risk communication, and education. Staff from NIEHS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff co-chair the CCHHG.

National Climate Assessment (NCA)

The National Climate Assessment (NCA) provides an in-depth look at climate change impacts in the U.S., now and in the future. It details the multitude of ways climate change is already affecting and will increasingly affect the lives, and human health, of American. The NCA is based on observations from across the country and data from climate system models. The NCA is coordinated through the USGCRP. NIEHS provides technical input, co-authors health sections of the assessment, and provides additional review.

International Climate Change Activities

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development. Its objective is a global effort to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and confront climate change. The NIEHS participates as the primary health representative to the U.S. delegation to the UNFCCC.

U.S. Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Health and Environment Community of Practice (CoP)

The Health and Environment Community of Practice is made up of members from national and international organizations that use environmental observations to improve health decision-making processes. NIEHS participates as a representative of HHS.

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