(Washington, D.C. - April 24, 2008) Climate change is a concern to most local public health directors but few have resources to tackle the problem, according to a national survey conducted by National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and George Mason University.
The survey, included in the report Are We Ready? Preparing for the Public Health Challenges of Climate Change, is the first national one of its kind that assesses the perceptions and activities of local public health directors regarding climate change and public health.
- Nearly 70% believed that climate change had already occurred in their jurisdictions;
- 78% believed their jurisdictions would experience climate changes over the next 20 years;
- 60% said that their local populations would experience one or more serious public health problems over the next 20 years as a result of climate change;
- More than 50% felt that climate change was an “important priority,” but only 19% of respondents indicated that climate change was among their departments’ top 10 current priorities;
- 82% felt they lacked the expertise to craft adaptation plans;
- 77% said that additional resources would improve their departments’ ability to deal with climate change as a public health issue.