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Climate Change Must Be At Center Of Development Agenda

The following opinion pieces discuss the role of climate change in public health and global development.

Huffington Post: To End Poverty, Act on Climate
Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation

“Climate change threatens to undermine the United Nations’ progress in both of its critical missions — peacekeeping and development: Hardship often leads to conflict, and the worsening impacts of climate change are causing hardship. That is what makes the U.N. Climate Summit on September 23 so important. … The Climate Summit and a new set of global goals for development and sustainability are two critical opportunities we can’t afford to waste. We can be the generation that ends poverty while protecting the planet, but to do it, we must come together and act decisively. We will all feel the impacts of what we do or do not do on climate change — but the lives and well-being of the world’s poorest will depend on it” (9/15).

Huffington Post: How Climate Change Can Rattle the Foundations of Public Health
Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization

“…For public health, climate change is the defining issue for the 21st century. Climate and weather variables affect the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink, and the chances that they will get infected with a life-threatening infectious disease. … The evidence is there, and it is compelling. Here is my strong view: climate change, and all of its dire consequences for health, should be at center-stage, right now, whenever talk turns to the future of human civilizations. After all, that’s what’s at stake” (9/15).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.