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CEO DATELINE – Medical groups declare climate change a ‘health emergency’

June 24, 2019
By Walt Williams

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Seventy-four public health groups and medical industry associations will push for a broad array of policy proposals to combat climate change, which they have labeled a “health emergency,” the Associated Press reported Monday.

In a joint statement shared with the news agency, the groups say the health, safety and well-being of the U.S. has already been harmed by climate change, “and health risks in the future are dire without urgent action to fight climate change.”

AP did not list all the signatories but those named include the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and American College of Physicians.

Climate change has become a hot-button issue for associations, which are facing increase pressure from members to either support policies tackling the problem or fight environmental regulations critics say would harm businesses. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for example, recently softened its stance on the subject by acknowledging humans’ role in climate change and calling for “thoughtful policies” to address it. However, the group opposes government regulations such as the Obama-era limits on greenhouse gas emissions, which were recently weakened by the Trump administration.

The medical groups want the government to play a stronger role in addressing climate change, according to the AP. They are urging the U.S. commit to a 2015 United Nations climate agreement from which President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw. They are also pushing for some form of carbon pricing. https://to.pbs.org/2Rz5XV5

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