Climate-Informed Health Activities in SPARCC States: California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee
This white paper is an extension of a previous report, The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health: An Assessment of 16 U.S. States, released in June 2019, and focuses on survey and interview results specific to states participating in the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC)—California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee. As part of EcoAdapt’s State of Adaptation Program, we assessed the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in these states. We conducted a series of surveys and interviews in order to (1) assess understanding among public health officials of climate change impacts, and (2) document activities—planned and underway—to prepare for and respond to climate-related challenges. This white paper presents the results of the survey and state profiles of initiatives addressing the impacts of climate change on public health and healthcare services.
It is important to note that project surveys and interviews were conducted between October 2018 and November 2019, and therefore the results do not explicitly reflect the compounding effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its differential impacts on vulnerable communities on the public health system’s capacity to address climate change. However, the examples of state, tribal, and local initiatives addressing the impacts of climate change on public health and healthcare services highlight how improvements may be made to increase the resilience of our systems to global change.