Jeni Miller

Jeni Miller


(light music) – We are joined
now by Jeni Miller who is the Executive Director of the Global Climate
and Health Alliance. It’s so nice to meet you. – Great to meet you. – Let’s talk about
climate change. It’s a hot topic right now. Can you share with us how
it’s impacting health, what we know? – Well, we know
that climate change is impacting the
health of everybody. We’re already seeing it. We’re seeing heatwaves,
we’re seeing extreme storm and weather events, drought,
vector-borne diseases are increasing and
moving in new places. It really is affecting
everybody’s health but we also know that it
affects some people’s health more than others and
there are some groups that are particularly
vulnerable. Children, the elderly,
people who are already experiencing illnesses,
people with disabilities, are gonna be more
vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and their
health is gonna suffer. – Let’s talk about
children to start with. What are some key actions
that perhaps schools or communities could take
now to help protect children? – So the most important
thing anybody can do is to support
policies that quickly transition us away
from fossil fuels. That’s number one. Support those policies,
support the decision-makers that are going to
implement those policies. Protecting children, you know… Air-quality alert systems
so that parents and schools can decide when and how
to reduce their exposure. Heat action plans so that
people know what to do when a heatwave comes along. Those sorts of things
are really important to kind of protect
children when we’re feeling the effects of climate change. – And how can we
work across sectors to help protect folks
from climate change, specifically with our health? – Yeah, so I’m really glad
you asked that question. Climate change is a
cross-sectoral issue. In public health, we have a
really important role to play, but we can’t do it alone. We need the energy
sector to transition away from fossil fuels
and to clean energy. We need to be working with
our city-planning departments and our transportation
departments so that we have walkable
cities and bikeable cites. And, you know, across the board in food and agriculture,
there are important things that that sector
needs to do as well. The thing I would
emphasize, though, is we really need
health at the table in all of those conversations, because different
decisions get made if the health lens is not
being brought to the issue, so. – What would you say finally,
which type of investments, whether that be economic
or other resources, can be made to better
address climate change? – Yeah, we’ve really gotta
put a price on carbon. We’ve gotta make, So right now, the health
impacts of climate change are treated as externalities. Things are affecting people,
but the price is not borne by the energy sector or
the transportation
sector, et cetera, the fuel-extraction industries. So putting a price on
carbon would ensure that those impacts that
we’re seeing on health are really built-in, and
there’s an economic incentive to move us in the
right direction. – Great to talk with you,
thank you for your time today. – Thank you so much. (light music)