Health Co-Benefits Conference

 

Health Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation Policies and Technologies

University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE)

19-20 September 2016 – UW Seattle – HUB 250

With the Paris Agreement in late 2015, the nations of the world made historic commitments to pursue climate change mitigation – activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the business community has been making unprecedented investments in mitigation activities, in recognition of the diversified set of risk management strategies needed to engage the climate issue. These commitments and investments are significant for public health, as climate change mitigation activities have immediate, substantial public health returns. In particular, investments in cleaner energy and manufacturing, lower-carbon agriculture, more efficient transport, and greener cities have been shown to improve respiratory health, reduce obesity rates, limit cardiovascular disease, and reduce overall premature mortality.

Only some of these benefits have been quantified, however, and quantification efforts often use different methods, making it difficult to synthesize and compare findings. As a result, many opportunities for highlighting the health benefits of climate change mitigation activities to policy makers and private investors have been lost.

In September 2016, the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE) will be hosting a conference on the health benefits of climate change mitigation policies and technologies. The overarching goal of the conference is to promote vigorous uptake of health benefits research in policies and planning and to highlight policy choices that have the greatest mitigation and health impact potential. Conference attendees will include leading scientists from around the world. Discussions will consider the status efforts to model health benefits of mitigation activities in a range of sectors and will focus on increasing consistency of modeling assumptions and approaches to enhance the policy relevance and application of health benefits research, thereby improving the evidence base to inform mitigation choices.

UPDATE: Speaker Bios available – click here

September 19, 2016

Time Topic Speakers
8:30AM Welcome & Introductions Kristie L. Ebi and Jeremy J. Hess
9:00AM Keynote Opening Address Clark Halvorson, WA State Assistant Secretary for Environmental Public Health
9:30AM Panel: Policy and Decisions-makers’ Perspectives Maura LIttle; Tony Usibelli; Dennis McLerran (EPA Region 10)
10:30AM Break
10:45AM Overview of Health Co-Benefits Research Jeremy J. Hess
11:15AM Overview of Mitigation Policies and Technologies Michael Lazarus (SEI)
12:00PM Lunch
12:45PM Economic Framing of Co-Benefits Gary Yohe (Wesleyan University)
1:15PM Panel: Integrated Assessment Modeling of Mitigation Costs Gary Geernaert (DOE); Steve Smith (PNNL)
2:45PM Break
3:00PM Decarbonization with Renewable Energy Technologies & Implications for Health and Other Benefits Doug Arent (NREL)
3:30PM Panel: Modeling Health Co-Benefits of Pollution Reductions Jonathan Buoncore (Harvard), Rebecca Saari (MIT), Christopher Tessum (UW), Jason West (UNC)
5:00PM End of Day One

September 20, 2016

 

Time Topic Speakers
8:30AM Panel: Modeling Health Co-Benefits of Active Transport and Urban Form Maggie Grabow (Wisconsin); Paul Wilkinson (LSHTM); John Balbus (NIEHS)
10:00AM Break
10:20AM Panel: Modeling Health Co-Benefits of Sustainable Dietary Changes David Cleveland (UC Santa Barbara); Roni Neff (Johns Hopkins)
11:45AM Lunch
12:30PM Increasing comparability of health co-benefits models Discussion led by Alistair Woodward (University of Auckland)
1:30PM Climate Change in the United States: Benefits of Global Action Rona Birnbaum (EPA)
2:00PM Break
2:15PM Including Health Co-Benefits in Assessments of Mitigation Policies Discussion led by John Weyant (Stanford)
3:00PM Including Health Co-Benefits in Local to National Policies Discussion led by Jeff Duchin (Public Health Seattle King County) and Paul English (California DHS)
3:45PM Including Health Co-Benefits in Assessments of Mitigation Policies / Research Agenda Discussion led by Kristie L. Ebi and Jeremy Hess
4:45PM Conclusions and Next Steps Kristie L. Ebi and Jeremy Hess
5:00PM End of Conference

Climate change is a significant threat to the environment and human health, and the world has come together to recognize the importance of immediate, substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions. Governments and investors need information to guide their mitigation choices, however, and the health benefits of mitigation activities are an important variable for them to consider. CHanGE is eager to take advantage of this historic moment to highlight the intersection of climate change mitigation and public health.

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 1 R13 ES 026863 – 01 A1 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.