Climate and Health Strategic Framework

Climate change is one of the most urgent public health challenges of our time. It increases the risks for temperature extremes, natural disasters, exposure to climate-sensitive diseases, and the resulting health effects for each person on the planet. The effects of climate change are far-reaching, putting everyone’s immediate and long-term health at risk.

Diverse people planting young trees together

In response to Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, and related priorities, CDC/ATSDR developed a national Climate and Health Strategic Framework [PDF – 3.2 MB]. The framework will help communities track, prevent, and respond to the public health threats of climate change. This framework outlines CDC/ATSDR’s vision to achieve the following:

  • Identify, raise awareness about, and address health inequities and environmental injustices worsened or affected by climate change
  • Strengthen CDC/ATSDR’s and partners’ preparedness and response capabilities for climate-related emergencies
  • Improve CDC/ATSDR’s ability to track climate-sensitive diseases, such as cholera, influenza, and those spread by mosquitoes
  • Collect more information and data on how climate change is affecting people’s health
  • Share information to protect communities from climate-sensitive diseases

Take Action With Us

Tackling these issues takes a cross-sector approach [PDF – 13 MB], in partnership with other federal agencies, state and local health departments, grassroots and nonprofits organizations, and local partners and communities. With collaboration on all fronts, our nation will be prepared to respond to the public health threats of climate change at home and abroad. Some of the things you can do to address these threats include the following:


Read the Climate and Health Strategic Framework [PDF – 3.2 MB] to understand the scope of the issues and CDC/ATSDR’s approach


Share the framework with your colleagues and partners


Explore the health effects of climate change that are happening in your community


Commit to identifying ways you or your organization can support the goals and actions outlined in the framework

Environmental disasters: fire and flooding

Climate Change is a Health Equity Issue

Short- and long-term health conditions can develop after harmful environmental exposures. People with greater risk for exposure and who have fewer resources to adapt to climate-related threats are more likely to experience negative physical and mental health effects. Economic, social, and cultural factors also influence the risk for climate-related health effects.

Housing deficiencies, air pollutants, and other environmental threats are unevenly distributed among communities. They are strongly linked to higher rates of asthma, cancer, and chronic diseases. These health outcomes show how social determinants of health can contribute to health inequities and environmental injustices and increase existing health disparities. CDC/ATSDR will continue to include a health equity approach into its climate and health work to address health disparities and injustices.

CDC/ATSDR’s Role in Climate and Health

As the nation’s leading federal public health agency, CDC/ATSDR is prepared to use a collaborative, holistic approach to address the health risks of climate change. Since 2009, CDC has had a dedicated climate and health program to support communities as they prepare for and deal with the public health risks of climate change. We provide funding to communities, conduct research, guide health care providers, and support the use of data for decisions and actions specific to health issues. The risks from climate change are wide-reaching, affecting overall health and the spread of infectious and noninfectious diseases. CDC/ATSDR will continue to embrace cross-cutting solutions, technological advances, and new partnerships to address climate change health risks as we implement the Climate and Health Strategic Framework.

Diverse people smiling with hands placed around a globe


A nation prepared to respond to the public health threats of climate change, at home and abroad