The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new Office of Climate Change & Health Equity.
The staff will report to the White House’s task force on climate change and focus on how climate change risks the health of Americans, particularly the poor and minorities.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal:
“The new office is likely to spur initiatives touching on many aspects of healthcare, HHS officials announced Monday. It is expected to offer protections for populations most at risk—including the elderly, minorities, rural communities and children, and the office could eventually compel hospitals and other care facilities to reduce carbon emissions.
“Asked how HHS would reduce carbon emissions from healthcare facilities, Mr. Becerra said: ‘We will use every authority to its greatest advantage because it is time to tackle climate change now.’
“Officials said one of the first tasks for the office would be to take accounting of greenhouse gas emissions from various parts of the healthcare sector. They also said they don’t yet have specific goals for the reduction in emissions they want from healthcare facilities.”
The move comes despite climate related deaths decreasing. Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. pointed this out in a recent tweet: “Pick a random person on Earth in he 1920s…That person had a 0.01% chance of dying due to an extreme weather or climate event…Now 2020, do the same…That person had a 0.00025% chance of dying due to an extreme weather or climate event…Risk reduced by 99.75%.”
The full story in the Wall Street Journal can be read here.