Climate Action for Health: Integrating Public Health into Climate Action Planning

From the California Department of Public Health, this report primarily addresses key GHG emissions reduction efforts in Climate Action Plans (CAPs) that have public health co-benefits. This guidance can be useful for any public health agency planning for climate impacts, even outside of California.

The report introduces key health connections to climate change mitigation strategies, suggestions of where these fit into a CAP, a process for forging partnerships between planning and health organizations, links to data that will help planners identify and reference the existing health status of their jurisdiction, and supporting resources.

The Overview describes how climate mitigation efforts can produce significant public health co-benefits. Examples include decreasing respiratory illnesses and increasing community cohesion and mental health. The public health impacts of climate change in California are outlined here as well. 

The report describes ‘Where to Include Health Content in a Climate Action Plan,’ offering strategies within the sectors of Transportation, Land Use, Urban Greening, Food and Agriculture, Residential Energy Use, Economic Development, Community Engagement, and as related to Adaptation.

The Adaptation section delineates specific priority actions that have public health implications and co-benefits. These strategies are to:

  • Link CAP to local jurisdiction’s emergency preparedness plans
  • Prioritize mitigation policies that can also assist in adaptation
  • Support plans, standards, regulation, incentives, and investments to reduce the impacts of climate change on those populations most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
  • Facilitate community engagement and participation in decision-making to improve adaptation plans.


Publication Date: February 2012

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Solange Gould
  • Kathy Dervin

Related Organizations:

  • California Department of Public Health


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Planning guides

States Affected:


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