According to The Lancet, climate change is this century's greatest global health threat, but it is also our greatest health opportunity. 


The University of California Center for Climate, Health and Equity seeks to drive climate action that safeguards health through four pillars - research, education, health system sustainability, and policy:

  • We will establish a transformational research program to generate a solution-focused body of evidence on climate-health pathways and interventions and encourage multidisciplinary and cross-campus collaborations
  • We are building a world-class education hub on climate and health for all health professionals, including community stakeholders. 
  • We will help make UC health systems responsive to the climate-sensitive needs of patients and communities. 
  • Finally, we aim to make our climate work actionable by translating evidence and best practices into effective policy and patient care.


The Climate Crisis is a Health Crisis

The health effects of the climate crisis are already upon us: from lung disease triggered by wildfires to deadly heatwaves to surges of infectious diseases. Evidence is mounting that biodiversity loss and changes in temperature and precipitation affect malnutrition, infectious and chronic diseases, and mental health and lead to injuries and premature death. These impacts exacerbate health inequities and disproportionately affect racial/ethnic minorities, those living in poverty, and other vulnerable populations. The climate crisis could force over 100 million more people into extreme poverty over the next decade and expose up to 3 billion people to deadly heat by 2070. And it is expected to drive the largest migration in human history.

Climate Action is a Health Solution

Health professionals are already on the front lines, grappling with the human toll of the climate-health crisis, and yet many are undereducated about climate-health links and health inequities amplified by climate vulnerability. Additionally, there remain critical research gaps that hamper effective responses to climate-health calamities, especially for disadvantaged communities suffering their worst effects. The health sector can do more to improve its climate-health readiness and to reduce its significant contributions to climate change with downstream health gains. While the sector is now a key player in climate efforts, its engagement needs to be scaled dramatically to meet the nature of the challenge.