Carper Statement on White House Climate Change Report

New report assesses the impacts of climate change on public health

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following reaction to the White House report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment.

“Today’s comprehensive interagency report gives more credence to the overwhelming consensus among scientists that our climate is changing at a troubling rate, and its impacts are putting our planet and public health at risk. Whether it’s the increasing intensity and frequency of severe weather events, the persistent droughts that damage our crops and livestock, or rising sea levels that threaten our coastal communities, the world has seen stark reminders that the effects of climate change threaten our safety and way of life. This report underscores that climate change knows no boundaries and that its effects pose a real risk to global health. Across the globe, dirty air is linked to worsening respiratory and cardiovascular conditions – including serious health problems like asthma, strokes, heart attacks, or even early deaths. According to this report, extreme temperatures will impact public health in the years to come, while high temperatures exacerbate chronic conditions and contribute to more heat-related illness and death.

“We cannot ignore the increasingly adverse effects of climate change on our environment, economy and public health. That is why I continue to support President Obama’s Climate Action Plan – including efforts to regulate harmful carbon emissions from local power plants, the greatest source of greenhouse gases in this country. We cannot ignore the inextricable link between our quality of air, our changing climate and our public health. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to clean up our air and curb the impacts of climate change for generations to come.”

Today’s final report assesses research conducted over three years by approximately one hundred experts in climate change science and public health – including representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA).