Blog > State Updates > California

April 10, 2024 | State Updates

Climate Health Now organizes and mobilizes the California health community to advocate for equitable, systems-level climate action, with the focus on equipping our members with skills and knowledge in the intersection of climate, health, and equity, communication, and community organizing so that we can collectively create change. 

Our work in 2023 spanned multiple different domains: participating in legislative and regulatory advocacy, working on healthcare sustainability, and equipping our members with the skills and tools to become climate, health, and equity advocates in California.

Using the U.S. Call to Action on Climate, Health, and Equity as our policy platform and with our 6-person Advocacy Advisory Team, we worked as part of coalitions to advance two pieces of legislation related to climate, health, and equity in 2023: AB579, which establishes the goal for all new school buses purchased or leased in California to be zero-emission by 2035, and SB394, which requires the California Energy Commission to create a Master Plan for Healthy, Sustainable, and Climate Resilient Schools. Collectively, CHN members accomplished the following:

  • Published 3 letters to the editor
  • Published 1 op-ed
  • Spoke at 1 press conference
  • Participated in 1 full-page ad in the Sacramento Bee
  • Coordinated 17 meetings with state legislators over 8 weeks with 56 CHN members participating
  • Sent 133 individual emails sent to Governor Newsom
  • Sent individual sign-on letters to Governor Newsom (191 signers), Senate Appropriations Chair Portantino (115 signers), and Assembly Appropriations Chair Holden (60 signers)
  • Sent 7 organizational letters, including sign-Ons from organizations

On the regulatory side, our members worked as part of the Invest in Clean Air Coalition to advocate to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to move vehicle incentives and mobility programs to a need-based approach (instead of first-come first-served), among other things. 

In 2023 CHN launched our Healthcare Sustainability Resource Team, which aims to educate our members on topics related to healthcare decarbonization and sustainability and the ways in which members of the healthcare community in California can advocate for change within their workplaces. We are currently in the process of reviewing applications for our first-ever Healthcare Sustainability Fellowship, which will provide intensive coaching for up to 7 teams of health professionals across California to plan and carry out a specific project related to healthcare sustainability, including in areas like improving energy efficiency, sustainable food procurement, and reducing waste. 

CHN members also participated in 3 fellowship-based programs this year: the inaugural Climate + Health Peer Learning Circle offered through the Climate Advocacy Lab, the Health Equity Action & Reflection Training offered through People Power Health and, for the 3rd consecutive year, the Climate Health Organizing Fellowship, which brings together health professional teams across the country to complete a 12-month fellowship on a climate health topic with the goal of improving the health of their patient populations and addressing the climate crisis through an organizing perspective.

In 2024 we are working to increase the breadth and depth of our legislative advocacy as well as creating additional programming for our members to learn about and engage as climate, health, and equity advocates.