Bronx elected officials gather for climate change roundtable
A climate roundtable was held in the Bronx on Friday, bringing together elected officials as well as national and community climate and health leaders to discuss how to tackle climate change in the Bronx.
The meeting was scheduled prior to this week’s air quality crisis. Rep. Ritchie Torres says that if this recent air quality crisis wasn’t a sign to act, he doesn’t know what will be.
“The extreme air pollution that we’ve seen in New York City serves as a wake-up call that climate change is not an abstraction, it is not a distant threat in a distant future, it is a clear and present danger,” said Torres.
Torres and the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Office of Climate Change and Health Equity discussed the need to implement the Inflation Reduction Act in the Bronx. They said it’s important to start with safety net hospitals.
“Making sure that we all do our part to improve the quality of life and the environment here in our borough is incredibly important,” said Victor Pichardo Jr., vice president of community and government affairs at SBH Health System. “It will lead to better health outcomes in the long run for many of our patients.”
Experts say the goal is to decarbonize health care facilities so that the system and the communities can be healthier and more resilient.
"The health care sector alone accounts for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, and so we need to make sure that the health care sector is part of a transition to a clean energy future,” said Torres.