The Center’s mission is to create a world in which every child has a healthy start. Basing our work in environmental research and close partnerships with community organizations, we lay the groundwork for preventative measures to protect children's health and wellbeing.
UN Climate Summit September 23, 2019
We Stand with Children Globally

Columbia University Center for Children’s Environmental Health stands in solidarity with growing international awareness, actions and policy development. Leaders across the globe are gathering to address global greenhouse emissions and global warming.

The Center’s commitment is steadfast ensuring research, action and policy initiatives. We continue to document the impact of environmental pollution, toxic chemicals and climate change on children’s health. Attached are links to publications highlighting the Center’s important climate change work.
The Case of Juliana v. U.S.- Children and the Health Burdens of Climate Change

Dr. Perera and co-authors Dr. Renee Sala, and Wendy Jacobs published an article today on the case of Juliana v. United States and the disproportionate burden placed on children and their futures by the effects of climate change. 

"On June 4, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Juliana v. United States to determine whether the case will proceed to trial in district court in Oregon. Nearly 4 years ago, 21 children and adolescents between 8 and 19 years of age, including Kelsey Juliana from Oregon, filed suit against the federal government, charging that the government's
inaction on addressing climate change violated their constitutional right to life, liberty, and property.
To date, no such lawsuit against the federal government has succeeded in the United States, despite a sharp increase in the number of similar suits filed
by young people, municipalities, and state governments. Indeed, none of these lawsuits has gone to trial.
As the Juliana plaintiffs argue- and we agree - climate change
is the greatest public health emergency of our time and is particularly harmful to fetuses, infants, children, and adolescents. The adverse effects of continued emissions of carbon dioxide and fossil fuel-related pollutants threaten children's right to a healthy existence in a safe, stable environment. It is for this reason that we, together with nearly 80 scientists and physicians and 15 health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, submitted an amicus brief to help educate the Ninth Circuit about this extraordinary threat. More frequent and longer heat waves, increasing
intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts and wildfires,
worsening infectious-disease exposures, food and water insecurity,
and air pollution from fossil-fuel burning all threaten to destabilize our public health and health care infrastructure. "

Multiple Threats to Child Health from Fossil Fuel Combustion: Impacts of Air Pollution and Climate Change

Dr. Frederica Perera

"Like the many-headed Hydra in Greek mythology, fossil fuel combustion inflicts a multitude of serious health and developmental harms in children through its emissions of toxic particles and gases and carbon dioxide (CO2), a co-pollutant that is a major driver of climate change. Each of the myriad pollutants released from the burning of fossil fuels is capable of exerting multiple and cumulative adverse effects, either directly or indirectly. The developing fetus and young child, and especially the poor, are most vulnerable to the impacts of both toxic air pollutants and climate change. Were we, like Herakles, to succeed in slaying the Hydra, we would reap significant benefits for children, including fewer cases of preterm births, low birth weight, cognitive and behavioral disorders, and asthma and other respiratory illness—all of which have been linked to toxic air pollutants—as well as less heat-related disease, malnutrition, infectious disease, physical trauma, mental ill health, and respiratory illness related to climate change. The benefits would occur immediately and play out over the long term, because exposure-related damage, disease, or impairment in early life can affect health over the life course and even potentially across generations."

Events Hosted by Mailman School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences and Columbia University's Earth Institute

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Off-campus New York University School of Law, Vanderbilt Hall 40 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: Buell Hall, 515 W. 116 St., New York, NY 10027 Maison Francaise

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Off-campus Loreto Theater, 18 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

Thursday , September 26, 2019 12:00 pm 1:00 PM

Friday, September 27, 2019 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Off-campus Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, 320 East 43rd Street, New York City
Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health
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