Giving Compass' Take:

• The author examines the ways climate change can affect vulnerable communities and the health of individuals. Flooding, food access, and housing destruction top the list of issues grantmakers should focus on.

• What can philanthropists do to address the potential health concerns related to the damaging effects of climate change?

• Read more about the experts and organizations trying to address the issues of health and climate change. 

Grantmakers, practitioners, and advocates have recognized the role of place in shaping health, and know that there is a growing urgency to respond to inequities related to housing, residential segregation, and neighborhood conditions. This urgency is likely to soon be compounded by the emerging issue of climate change and the health effects it will have on already vulnerable neighborhoods.

Climate change will have direct impacts on health, with vulnerable communities on the frontline. Severe changes to weather patterns (such as heat waves and drought), flooding, and infrastructure will have significant health effects in relation to housing instability, access to healthy and affordable food, access to recreation, and other needs that already vary strongly across zip codes...

This is a critical time to foster collaboration between the health, housing, and civil rights sectors. Such collaboration and capacity-building will help communities address the health inequities linked to housing, residential segregation, and neighborhood conditions, and enable them to respond to new health issues such as those created by climate change. By joining forces, funders and advocates can respond to new developments while continuing to drive lasting structural change.

Read about the effects of climate change on health by Megan Haberle at Grantmakers in Health