Climate Change, Part II: The Public Health Effects

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 2:00pm
2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Climate Change, Part II: The Public Health Effects



The hearing will focus on the public health implications of climate change, including the severe health impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations such as seniors, children, and low-income communities, and the role the federal government can play in responding to these public health challenges.


  • In 2018, the Trump Administration released the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which found that “[c]limate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.”
  • The Assessment also found that the “impacts from climate change on extreme weather and climate-related events, air quality, and the transmission of disease through insects and pests, food, and water increasingly threaten the health and well-being of the American people, particularly populations that are already vulnerable.”
  • The Trump Administration has taken numerous steps that benefit the fossil fuel industry at the expense of the health of the American people.  For example, the Trump Administration has proposed rolling back the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, seeking to freeze mile-per-gallon standards for cars and light trucks after the 2020 model year, and attacking California's more stringent emissions standards.
  • The Trump Administration has also fostered a hostile culture at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), causing some employees to “self-censor,” according to the former National Program Director of the Air, Climate, and Energy Research Program at the EPA.  
  • Earlier this month, Chairman Elijah E. Cummings convened a full committee hearing to examine the need for leadership to combat climate change and protect national security.  The same day, the Subcommittee on the Environment Chairman Harley Rouda held a hearing on the history of scientific opinion about climate change and the reasons for inaction.


Dr. Karen DeSalvo
Professor of Medicine and Population Health
Dell Medical School
University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Bernard D. Goldstein
Professor Emeritus
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Aaron Bernstein
Co-Director, Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment
T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Harvard University

Dr. Cheryl L. Holder
Associate Professor
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Florida International University

Dr. Caleb Rossiter
Executive Director
CO2 Coalition

116th Congress