Climate Change and Health Communications: Workshop Summary
2016 | Read the workshop summary.
Health is a shared value across a wide spectrum of the U.S. population. Using a health frame to communicate to the public and policy makers about climate change is an emerging and promising approach to building greater support for climate action.
How can health practitioners and climate advocates best message and frame climate change as a health and equity issue in order to engage the general public, policymakers, and other specific audiences to prompt swift action for change?
Public health has a long history of using health communications, social marketing, and media advocacy to address urgent health challenges through promotion of individual, policy, systems, and environmental change.
Climate change has now emerged as the greatest health challenge of the 21st century, yet few health professionals have engaged substantially on this issue. As a result, the health voice and health message remain under utilized, and there have been no media advocacy campaigns about climate change and health.
In an effort to address the need for further work on health and climate communications, PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health (CCCH) held a workshop on October 6, 2015, in Oakland, California. We brought together 20 leading health and climate change communications experts for an initial dialogue that provided insight into further steps required to develop health-specific communications strategy and messages to more effectively leverage the health voice for action on climate change.
In this report, we summarize our key takeaways, a summary of workshop presentations, an outline of key discussion themes, and CCCH recommendations for further research and action on climate change and health communications.
Please note: The recommendations presented below draw on information, ideas, and recommendations discussed in the workshop, but they have been further developed by the Center for Climate Change and Health staff subsequent to the workshop; they do not necessarily represent the views of the workshop participants.