This summer, EPA’s Local Climate and Energy Program will be hosting a two-part webcast series on the connections among climate change, the heat island effect, and public health. As temperatures rise due to climate change, the heat island effect (which causes built-up areas to be hotter than surrounding areas) is exacerbated, leading to increases in heat-related illnesses, deaths, and other health problems. This series will address both the short-term response needs that local governments face during heat waves and longer-term strategies for reducing the heat island effect in the future.
The series will show local public health officials and environmental agency staff how they can work together on solutions to reduce the heat island effect and help each other further their respective missions. Working together in the short-term might mean shared messaging and aligned communications during the summer season; in the long-term, this might mean supporting each other’s planning efforts to become more resilient to future extreme heat events.
Webcast #1: Communicating the Connection between Climate Change and Heat Health
The first webcast will explore how public health and environmental professionals can effectively communicate and leverage the connections among climate change, the heat island effect, and public health to raise awareness among the public and to promote progress on these issues. Learn about:
- EPA’s new framework for local governments on communication and outreach related to climate, energy, and sustainability projects
- George Mason University’s research about the public’s understanding of the connection between climate change and personal health, as well as recommendations for effective messaging
- The American Public Health Association’s (APHA) strategies, tools, and resources for effective communication
- Minnesota’s experience communicating these connections through their Climate and Health program