Newswise — New York, NY – Jan. 26, 2022 –This week, 17 leading medical organizations and U.S. public health leaders submitted an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in the case West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, urging the justices to affirm the agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and have been proven to inflict major health problems.
As noted in the amicus brief, “(h)igher temperatures and punishing heat waves that contribute to illness and injury are two prominent effects of climate change that harm public health. America's leading physician-member medical organizations and public health experts submit this brief to draw the Court's attention to the exigent health threats from climate change. Driven by fossil fuel emissions, climate pollutants harm public health across every segment of American society and in every state. The consequences of climate change impair pulmonary, cardiovascular, neurological, immunological, behavioral health, and other vital systems and functions.”
At stake in this case is whether the U.S. Supreme Court will affirm the agency’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. powerplants or whether the court will place restrictions on the agency’s ability to fully respond to the climate crisis.
Joining the American Thoracic Society in the amicus brief were the following organizations:
In the brief’s concluding comments, the national medical organizations emphasize that “(r)egulation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are necessary to mitigate the scale of intensifying public health harms associated with climate change. The need is urgent, and the quality and length of lives are at stake. The Court should affirm EPA's ability to carry out its mandate to protect public health by regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.”