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CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH EQUITY

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Climate Change & Health Equity Branch - ​About Us

The CDPH Climate Change and Health Equity (CCHE) Branch envisions a State where all Californians thrive in healthy, equitable, and resilient communities. Our team works to achieve this by building health equity, advancing climate action, and improving living conditions through policies, systems, and environmental changes.

Why We’re Doing this Work

  • Climate change is one of the greatest public health threats of our time.

  • Those facing inequities are hurt first and worst by the impacts of climate change.

  • Climate change policies can improve the environments where people live, learn, work, play, and age, and represent a significant opportunity to improve population health and health inequities.

What We Do

  • Work across agencies and departments to embed health and racial equity into California climate plans, programs, and policies.

  • Guide state investment and resource distribution to prioritize health and racial equity and climate resilience.

  • Provide data, research, and tools to identify and reduce the health effects of climate change and maximize the health equity benefits of climate action (including establishing a statewide climate and health syndromic surveillance program).

  • Increase capacity of public health jurisdictions, Tribal health programs, and partner agencies to work on climate change and health equity (including providing technical assistance​; facilitating a Local Health Jurisdictions Community of Practice and a cross-CDPH Climate Change and Health Equity Working Group).

  • Engage with Tribes and internal and external partners to shift towards policies, processes, and guidelines that increase communities’ power in decision-making.

​Our Major Focus Areas

  • Statewide Cross-Sector Climate Change Policy, Planning, and Programs that promote health and racial​​ equity and build climate resilience for communities

  • Land Use Planning with emphasis on building within unused and underutilized lands within existing development patterns (compact / infill development) and creating transit-oriented neighborhoods with easy access to daily needs to reduce the need to drive and facilitate healthy and active living

  • Transportation / Clean Mobility Options that prioritize accessible walking, cycling, and public transit

  • Housing and Anti-Displacement -- affordable, healthy, energy-efficient, and climate resilient homes

  • Clean Energy, including reducing barriers for low-income populations and disadvantaged communities to access clean energy, and ensuring energy security and resiliency

  • Natural and Working Lands, including sustainable and local food systems that enable healthy eating and food sovereignty

  • Urban Greening and Green Infrastructure that provide nature-based climate and health solutions

  • Labor and Workforce Development -- support workforce development and hiring practices that advance racial and health equity in the low-carbon and care economies

  • Community engagement -- meaningful community engagement that empowers communities facing inequities to drive climate and health policy and governmental decision-making

  • Utilization of Health Equity Data and Tools to inform decisions, and to identify and prioritize State resources and investments to communities facing inequities and climate vulnerabilities

Our Recent Accomplishments

Spotlight: Com​​​munity Health Workers, Healthy Homes, & Healthy Families Pilot Program

Through a partnership with Kaweah Health, the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), and Proteus, Inc., CCHE's Community Health Workers (CHWs), Healthy Homes, and Healthy Families pilot program connects residents with energy-efficiency and weatherization services as protective health interventions for low-income families and farmworker communities in Tulare County to provide thermal comfort in homes, reduce health risks, and improve resilience to heat, wildfire smoke, and air pollution. 

Through this pilot, CHWs / promotores perform in-home visits with patients who have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or a mental health diagnosis. CHWs assess health conditions linked to poor housing conditions using a housing and health assessment tool and ​determine​ patients' needs and eligibility for weatherization and energy efficiency services. Referrals are then made to the local weatherization provider, who assist patients with their application.
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How to Reach Us

​Climate Change & Health Equity​ (CCHE) Branch​
Office of Health Equity | California Department of Public Health
climatechange@cdph.ca.gov
Subscribe to CCHE updates here >>​​


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