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J Law Med Ethics. 2017 Mar;45(1_suppl):82-85. doi: 10.1177/1073110517703332.

Climate Change and Public Health Policy.

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Jason A. Smith, M.T.S., J.D., is an Assistant Professor at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, California. His research focuses on issues of public health law and policy. He has worked on issues of food policy, the First Amendment and public health, and climate change and health. He received a B.A. from the University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, an M.T.S. from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. Jason Vargo, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Global Health Institute and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. His research centers on environmental health and urbanization at the local and global scales. He received his B.S.E. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, his M.P.H. from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and masters and Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. Sara Pollock Hoverter, J.D., LL.M., is a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown Law. Her practice includes supporting policy planning and implementation for state and local governments in the areas of health, climate change, and food policy. She received a B.A. from Yale University in New Haven, CT, a J.D. cum laude from Georgetown Law, and an LL.M. in Advocacy from Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C.


Climate change poses real and immediate impacts to the public health of populations around the globe. Adverse impacts are expected to continue throughout the century. Emphasizing co-benefits of climate action for health, combining adaptation and mitigation efforts, and increasing interagency coordination can effectively address both public health and climate change challenges.

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