Lancaster Physician Summer 2021 - 21

SUMMER 2021
sector, comprehensive climate legislation and
regulations should promote energy efficiency
and renewable energy production at the federal,
state, and local levels while decreasing incentives
for continued production and consumption of
carbon-intensive fuels such as coal, oil, and gas.
In addition, the AAP supports terminating
federal subsidies and tax incentives for the
production and transport of coal, oil, and
gas, and increasing federal subsidies for clean,
renewable energy sources such as wind, solar,
and hydropower. The AAP also supports the
implementation of an effective and equitable
carbon fee and dividend regime to accurately
reflect the true health costs of fossil fuel
pollution. A recent analysis found that more
than 300,000 Americans die each year from
air pollution generated from fossil fuel use.
Reducing Carbon Pollution from
Transportation
Transportation emissions already account
for more than one-quarter of U.S. greenhouse
gas emissions and are expected to rise, making
transportation a key priority for climate action.
Decarbonizing transportation can also
directly benefit child health through improved
safety and increased opportunities for physical
activity. The best available science suggests that
tailpipe emissions may be responsible for the
one in five children who develop asthma. Via
reduced emissions alone, it's estimated that
clean transportation will prevent 120,000
premature deaths by 2030 and 14,000 annually
thereafter in the U.S.
Other studies have shown that the health
benefits of lower-emission motor vehicles are
increased when combined with the promotion
of active travel such as walking or biking, which
reduces the prevalence of chronic diseases such
as diabetes, dementia, ischemic heart disease,
and cancer.
Modernizing the Food System to Reduce
its Carbon Footprint
Strategies aimed at shifting food systems to
decrease greenhouse gas emissions offer further
potential to address environmental concerns
while dramatically promoting child health. The
adoption of more plant-based diets in line with
current dietary guidelines could reduce global
Pursuing Additional Adaptation Strategies
In addition to mitigation efforts, such as
achieving net-zero carbon emissions, comprehensive
climate legislation must include
additional adaptation measures to protect
children and their families from the effects of
climate change that inevitably will occur and
are already occurring.
Making Global Progress through Effective
International Diplomacy
Another crucial tool is the use of diplomacy
and international cooperation to support global
action in response to the climate crisis. The
AAP supported the Paris Agreement to engage
the global community in emissions reduction
targets and welcomes the administration's
decision to re-enter the agreement.
Promoting Response Strategies with
Assessment of Health Benefits
Policies to promote cleaner air, facilitate
active transportation, encourage more sustainable
diets, and develop more connected
communities can lead to enormous child
health gains while preserving a healthy,
LANCASTER 21 PHYSICIAN
mortality by 6 to 10 percent and food-related
greenhouse gas emissions by 29 to 70 percent
by 2050 with global net health benefits from
diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and
cancer valued between $1-31 trillion USD.
Promoting Sustainable Community
Development
Climate change policies that preserve,
create, and expand natural green environments
directly impact the mental health
of populations, with the strongest benefits
occurring during childhood.
Prioritizing Health Care Sector Mitigation
and Adaptation
The U.S. health care sector is a major contributor
to climate change, producing as much
as 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
To address the broad array of negative
child health effects from climate change, it is
essential that federal policies promote energy
efficiency and the adoption of clean energy in
the health care sector, as well as the adaptation,
preparedness, and resilience of hospitals and
health systems.
sustainable environment in which generations
of children can thrive.
In addition, the history of racial inequities
and environmental racism means that the
negative health effects from National Ambient
Air Quality Standards that are insufficiently
protective disproportionately burden low-income
communities of color. This is a significant
environmental justice issue.
In order to maximize the child health benefits
of the policy response to climate change,
EPA and other agencies should fully account
for child health benefits in rulemaking and
subregulatory decisions.
Conclusion
As physicians and healthcare providers
we appreciate the Administration's efforts to
protect children and future climate change.
We expect and advise that child health will
be a key consideration in the development of
any comprehensive response, and we would
welcome opportunities to further support and
contribute to this effort.
There is a two-page list of scientific
references to all statements made in the
aforementioned letter on the following
website and in the article:
* https://www.aap.org/en-us/
advocacy-and-policy/aap-healthinitiatives/climate-change/Pages/
Climate-For-Health.aspx
*
Lee Savio Beers, MD, FAAP; AAP April
21, 2021; Administrator Michael S. Regan
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington,
DC 20460; RE: AAP Priorities for
Addressing Climate Change to Improve
Child Health
I hope that this will provide new and
meaningful information for you whether you
are a pediatrician, family physician, or health
care provider with or without children or
grandchildren.
https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/climate-change/Pages/Climate-For-Health.aspx https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/climate-change/Pages/Climate-For-Health.aspx https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/climate-change/Pages/Climate-For-Health.aspx https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/climate-change/Pages/Climate-For-Health.aspx

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