Declaring Commitment to a Healthier Future for All
Kansas organizations concerned about climate change are united in support of the Kansas Climate + Health Declaration. The Kansas Climate + Health Declaration aims to increase awareness of the impacts of climate change on public health, increase civic engagement on climate action in Kansas, and advance policies that build community resilience and safeguard the future of our state.
The Declaration draws attention to the specific impacts of climate change on public health in Kansas. Backed by research from trusted public health organizations like the Kansas Health Institute, American Public Health Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kansas Climate + Health Declaration orients around four principles:
• Climate disruption impacts the lives, health, and economic well-being of Kansans.
• Climate change is a major public health concern in Kansas.
• Those least responsible will be the most impacted and least able to adapt.
• Solutions exist at all levels to build resilience, economic opportunities, and healthy communities.
Each section includes the specific public health concerns for Kansans. The full Declaration is available at ResilientKansas.org.
Kansas organizations stand with leading public health organizations in making a clear call to our state’s leadership to address climate change as a primary threat to public health. Climate + Health Declaration signers urge bold, comprehensive action to reduce emissions and build resilience. The Declaration states, “We need to reduce risks of climate disruption to safeguard the future of our state. We declare a commitment to a healthier future for all.”
Initial organizational signers include:
The Climate + Energy Project. “CEP is committed to finding clean energy solutions that will rapidly decrease carbon and increase economic benefits for our state. Kansans health is already being impacted and we need to work together to mitigate this crisis,” said Dorothy Barnett.
Mary Fund, Executive Director of the Kansas Rural Center, said, “By improving soil health and increasing soil organic matter on our farms and ranches, we can sequester carbon in the soil, which is part of the solution, and offers multiple benefits to farms and ranches and to our food system. This is why we support the Kansas Climate + Health Declaration.”
Courtney Masterson from Native Lands LLC explains, “climate change has a direct impact on community health through negative effects on air and water quality, as well as sustainable food systems. Native ecosystems contribute significantly to a landscape that protects these vital resources.”
Kansas Association of Community Action Programs (KACAP), the Children’s Alliance of Kansas, Kansas Interfaith Action (KIFA), and the Kansas City Kansas NAACP Branch all represent populations that are most vulnerable to climate impacts. Scott Anglemyer with KACAP said, “People with limited financial resources cannot afford to relocate, mitigate, or recover from the effects of anticipated severe weather.” Christie Appelhanz from the Children’s Alliance said, “Children are not little adults, they are often more vulnerable to pollutants than adults, we are committed to continuously working for a safe and secure environment for children.”
Rabbi Moti Rieber from KIFA said, “Climate disruption is a pressing moral issue. The Climate and Health Declaration is an important first step in recognizing the impact of climate disruption on humans, on other species, and on God’s creation.” Richard Mabion with the Kansas City Kansas branch of the NAACP said “we believe that community leaders should take a stand to reduce the impacts of climate change and build resilience among the most vulnerable populations.”
As of September 9, 2019, other organizational signers include the Metropolitan Energy Center, Friends of the Kaw, Grassland Heritage Foundation, the Kansas Natural Resource Council, and Kansas Appleseed. Additional organizational signers will be updated continuously on ResilientKansas.org.
The public is invited to sign the petition urging Kansas leaders to take bold, comprehensive action to reduce emissions and build resilience. The full Climate + Health Declaration and petition are available at ResilientKansas.org.
The Climate + Health Declaration is powered by the Climate + Energy Project with broad support from organizational signers. Generous funding for the Climate + Health Declaration and supporting work comes from the Kansas Health Foundation and the Turner Foundation.