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Bold Climate Action Can Prevent The Next Pandemic

As a member of our Public Health Advisory Council, Christine James, M.D., MSc has been a strong champion for climate solutions that center around public health and equity. As she and our other Health Council members know all too well, the climate crisis has grown into a public health crisis and we need integrated solutions.

In a recent op-ed she published with Dr. Sweta Chakraborty in The Hill, Dr. James highlighted how the climate crisis is creating the conditions for more pandemics by increasing the likelihood of animal-to-human disease transmission.

“If there is one lesson that we can take away from the past year, it is this: our actions have driven nature to its brink. Unless we recognize the relationship between climate and health, and the absolute necessity for real environmental policy, we will continue to suffer the consequences of our own inaction.” - Christine James, M.D., MSc

As Drs. James and Chakraborty explained in their op-ed, “The risk for zoonotic diseases to pass from animals to humans is now higher than ever.” This is the result of human activities.

As biodiversity continues to plummet in a warming world, this is leading to the increased transmission and incidence of diseases. Animals adapting to habitat degradation, sprawling development, and deforestation are in increasingly close contact with humans, which increases the likelihood of animal-to-human transmission of disease.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. As their op-ed explains, through bold climate action and proactive investments in our public health infrastructure, we can undercut the conditions that might lead to the next pandemic and be better prepared to weather the public health impacts of climate change.

Check out Dr. James’ amazing op-ed in The Hill here to learn more!

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