Climate change poses risks to the public health and well-being of all Californians through extreme weather events, wildfires and a shift in certain infectious diseases. To address the need for planning and preparation to meet these challenges, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been awarded a four-year, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) climate change and health grant.
“Climate change is a very serious health issue for California’s public health system to address,” said CDPH Director Dr. Ron Chapman. “This grant provides critical resources to the California Department of Public Health to plan for and develop an effective response to climate and extreme weather events.”
This funding will allow California to apply the CDC BRACE model (Building Resilience Against Climate Effects).This model includes five steps to help state health departments develop a comprehensive climate and health adaptation plan:
- Forecast climate impacts and assess vulnerabilities in various areas of the state
- Project the disease burdens from those impacts
- Assess public health strategies to protect health and communities
- Work with local health departments to help their communities develop climate and health adaptation plans
- Evaluate the impacts and quality of project activities
The grant provides $250,000 per year to develop an overall assessment of the critical health impacts associated with climate change in California, along with the populations most vulnerable to these changes. Examples of health impacts of climate change include: heat related illness and death; increased air pollution associated with increasing temperature; and, extreme precipitation and flooding, wildfires, rising sea levels, and changes in disease caused by vectors (e.g. mosquitoes) and infectious agents.
“This funding allows California to continue being a leader in climate preparedness and adaptation at state and local levels at a time when planning efforts have been limited due to a lack of funding,” Chapman said.
For more information on how California is addressing climate change prevention, and adaptation, visit the California Climate Change Portal. For information about public health and climate change, go to the CDPH Climate Change Web page.