The US Nursing Collaborative on Climate Change and Health
Last November five key US nursing organisations including the Association of Public Health Nurses and the National Student Nurses Association signed up to the 'Nursing Collaborative on Climate Change and Health' (see below). This statement of belief and intent is the result of work by the US Climate for Health initiative. Should we have something like this in the UK? What would we need to change or add?
Why nurses must lead on climate
The science is clear: climate change is one of the most serious threats to human health we face today… As nurses, we have a duty to provide our patients, communities,families and children with a safe and healthy future.
The most at-risk populations are children, elderly, low-income, and minorities… the burden of pollution and climate change falls unfairly on these populations, creating health disparities.
Climate change harms our water supply, air quality, food supply, and mental health and increases the occurrence of vector-borne diseases and extreme weather events… addressing climate change provides clean air and water and reduces climate-related health impacts and supports healthy environments and people.
Nurses are the most trusted professionals and have direct access to educating and engaging the public... they are credible and influential communicators on how climate change is impacting our health and call for climate solutions that will protect and promote our health and well-being in the varied communities and institutions they serve.
What we will do
Elevate climate change as a visible health priority: we will make the connection between climate and human health and prioritize the need to advance acclimate protective strategies to protect health a core part of our mission.
Create a climate literate nursing community: we will act as a resource in promoting the education and ability of nurses to deliver effective evidence-based climate and health communication by providing guides and guidance and incorporating climate in all our gatherings and resources.
Engage all stakeholders: we will connect climate and human health to engage communities, patients, colleagues and other health professionals, policy-makers, and the public.
Building collective support and action for solutions: bring together a nationwide network of nursing associations who will engage their peers, communities, healthcare institutions, the public and policy makers in climate action that protects and promotes health.
Reduce Your Impact: get started on your Path to Positive by taking steps to make an impact in your community, health facility, office, or organization.
Engage Others: engage others in your community, peers and policymakers in leading on climate and health.