Health and Climate
The Second Global Conference on Health and Climate met to set a new agenda for tackling health problems arising as a result of climate change. As the global state of climate shifts over the coming decades, this pantheon of experts, hosted by the government of France, hopes to address the way public health professionals deal with the resulting complications.

The objective of this conference was to demonstrate the commitment of the public health community to implementing the Paris Agreement, a historic treatise whose goals are to better treatment of the world and create a sustainable future.

With the Paris Agreement in mind, the countries committed to it should see a change in their public policy. The aim of the agreement is to make tangible changes through proper legal channels as quickly as possible. The right to health is at stake for many people, and this is precisely what the conference hoped to address in its talks of health and climate.

In response to the seven million people per year who die of pollution-related ailments such as strokes or lung cancer, the conference made it a goal to encourage countries to curb their pollution output. Thankfully, this recommendation aligns with the global goal to reduce greenhouse gases and carbon emissions.

Among other topics, the panel discussed how to best implement and use renewable and safe energy sources to improve health and climate. Additionally, to assist in best-promoting these difficult changes to countries, attendees of the conference made it a goal to calculate the economic benefits of switching to cleaner energy.

To further these aims, the WHO announced a focus on developing a new approach to health economics and climate change. They hope that by closely monitoring the changes in the policy of each country every five years, the world will begin to see health and climate improvements for not only the seven million affected by pollution-borne diseases, but by all earthly inhabitants.

Connor Borden

Photo: Zimbio

gerald Ford
Picture yourself: you are walking among a beautiful collection of distinguished brick buildings.  Snow covers the ground as you gaze upon the seemingly endless trees that dot the walkway.  You breathe a sigh of satisfaction and say to yourself “this is the perfect place to fight poverty.”

Welcome to the University of Michigan and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.  Located in Ann Arbor, MI (known affectionately as Tree Town, USA), U of M is one of the nation’s premiere public universities.  Many are familiar with the Michigan Wolverines football team, and their stadium, the “Big House,” that holds over 109,000 screaming fans.  However, one of the universities true gems is the Ford School.

Named in honor of former U.S. President Gerald Ford, a Michigan alumnus, the Ford School offers a B.A. in Public Policy for undergraduates in addition to a Master of Public Policy and Master of Public Administration for graduate students.  The school also has over 16 joint M.A. and PhD programs with other graduate programs in the university, including Economics, Political Science, and Sociology.

A stated strength of the Ford School is in combating poverty.  The National Poverty Center is housed in the Ford School and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The National Poverty Center trains students in poverty research, publishes briefs and analyses to be used in government forums, and runs national seminars to discuss issues of poverty.

In addition to poverty research, the Ford School is devoted to global development.  Students pursuing an M.P.P. spend the summer between their first and second year pursuing an internship directly related to policy issues.  27% of students complete their internships abroad, while 30% work in Washington D.C. for an internationally related program.  Additionally, the School houses the International Policy Center, which promotes interdisciplinary research in various global issues.

If you are interested in honing your skills in fighting global poverty, the Ford School of Public Policy may be the place for you.

– Taylor Diamond

Sources: Ford School of Public Policy, National Poverty Center