by Rachel McIntosh-Kastrinsky
The sixth annual NC BREATHE Conference is less than two months away! 2020 NC BREATHE will provide an interactive forum for health professionals, researchers, communities, policymakers, and advocates to discuss health and equity in the face of climate change.
We are excited to have William Barber III from The Climate Reality Project kick off the day with the opening keynote address. Through his extensive experience on environmental justice issues and his work across the state and nation on climate change, Barber will talk about how different North Carolina communities are impacted by climate change and what we can do.
Marilynn Marsh-Robinson and Dr. Gregory Kearney will follow Barber by expanding on the policy and health implications of the climate crisis. Marsh-Robinson from EDF will discuss what cities, counties, and communities have been doing across the state to address climate change through the NC Cities Initiative. The Initiative is a collaborative effort among local governments across North Carolina that are working to reduce their carbon emissions and developing strategies to implement change.
Dr. Kearney from Eastern Carolina University will close out the morning session by reviewing his work on the vulnerabilities and health disparities that climate change will exacerbate in eastern North Carolina. Eastern North Carolina is projected to be at a higher risk for adverse climate effects and have a more vulnerable population.
During the afternoon, conference participants will join breakout sessions on “Addressing climate change through community action,” “Communicating climate change for policy solutions,” and “The business case for climate change.” Each of the three breakout sessions will feature a panel discussing key questions and issues surrounding climate change and health, with open discussion and audience participation strongly encouraged.
Dr. Mona Sarfaty of the George Mason Center for Climate Communication will close the conference with a “big picture” look at how climate change is impacting North Carolina and beyond and where we go from here. Throughout the day attendees will be able to view posters that relate to the conference theme and interact with students, colleagues, and community members.