Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and the Assistant Secretary for Health, Admiral Rachel Levine, issued the following statements in response to a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report showing climate change’s current and future impacts on physical and mental health.
Released early this morning, the IPCC report underscores the need for HHS’s new Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE), which is led by Admiral Levine and focused on addressing the impact of climate change on the health of all Americans.
“People across our nation are suffering right now as a result of surging floods and storms, devastating wildfires, and relentless heatwaves, and they don’t have the luxury of ignoring the climate crisis,” said Secretary Becerra. “This report confirms that those who lack proper infrastructure and basic health services suffer most from changing climatic conditions. HHS is committed to using every tool available to protect the health of our nation from the devastating effects of climate change.”
“This report makes it clear that the choices we make now will determine the future of our health and the health of the world; highlighting both the mental and physical health effects of climate change, which are often overlooked,” said ADM Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS. “I am proud of the work HHS is doing to protect and promote human health in the face of climate change, and to build more sustainable and climate resilient health systems.”