GUMC logo

Posted in News Release  |  Tagged

Georgetown Researcher: Apply Social Justice In Addressing Climate Change

In anticipation of the Pope’s encyclical this week, below is a statement from Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, (new window) director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment at Georgetown, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative (new window) focusing on environmental risks that impact children.

“Climate change is a moral issue. Sustainable development must include strategies that address not only economic prosperity, but inclusion of the poor and vulnerable and protection of the natural world.”

“The time to act on climate is now. Action on climate change with a focus on clean, renewable energy is critical for improving the health of communities that are experiencing increases in diseases such as asthma and allergies.

“Social justice dictates that we consider the poor and their communities who are disproportionately impacted by the threats of climate change, such as weather disasters, poor air quality, severe heat, and food and water shortages with significantly greater risks for associated health issues including asthma, allergies, heart attacks, and stress disorders.”

Anderko is the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at Georgetown’s School of Nursing & Health Studies. She has dedicated her life’s work to environmental and social justice, and the intersection of the two.

Anderko is a scholar and educator in the fields of epidemiology, public health and environmental health. She has served on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee research workgroup and the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee.

In 2013, she was named a White House Champion of Change for her leadership in raising awareness about climate-related health effects.

Media contact: Karen Teber /