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The American Climate Leadership Summit 2019 (ACLS19) on May 1-2 will feature conversations with prominent climate experts and advocates. This year’s theme is “Breakthrough,” and we’re looking for just that — breakthrough strategies and ideas to help transform climate action into a true national priority.

ecoAmerica asked our ACLS19 speakers to shine a light on their climate breakthrough moments and ideas. We’re pleased to provide the latest interview in our speaker series, from Dr. Georges C. Benjamin.

Georges C. Benjamin, M.D. is the Executive Director of the American Public Health Association (APHA).

What was your climate breakthrough moment?

For APHA, it was our 2017 Year of Climate Change and Health. This robust campaign brought in partners from a variety of sectors.  It allowed us to have a conversation on a different topic every month at the intersection of climate change and health. And it provided actions that individuals and organizations can take to increase awareness and action around climate and health.

What do you wish more Americans knew about climate change?

First, individual actions matter, whether it’s using energy-efficient lightbulbs or voting for a climate-conscious candidate; and second, climate change is affecting our health right now, so we need to act.

What are current climate breakthroughs or initiatives that inspire you/give you hope that we will effectively address climate change?

APHA’s vision on climate and health is that climate change is a national priority with broad political and social support to address it in ways that improve public health and health equity, creating the healthiest nation in one generation.

APHA hopes to move our nation’s climate change and health agenda forward with a focus on the most vulnerable among us. That’s why we’ve announced a new Center for Climate, Health and Equity that will serve as the epicenter for public health action on climate change.

What do you hope/believe the ACLS19 will accomplish in moving the needle on climate action/breakthrough?

I hope that it will create new, sustainable, cross-sectoral partnerships that will yield multi-pronged solutions that address climate change, health and equity now.

Why should you/others join you at ACLS19?  

Climate change is a threat to our survival and is the public health challenge of our lifetime. We all need to play a role in finding a solution. ACLS19 offers the opportunity to talk to likeminded people from a variety of different backgrounds and areas of expertise. We are joining the meeting because we believe it will take all of us to work toward a climate-healthy solution for tomorrow.  

Hear more from Georges C. Benjamin, M.D. May 1-2 at the American Climate Leadership Summit 2019 in Washington, D.C. Click Here to Register

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