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Nurses from Forty-Two National Nursing Organizations Issue  List of Climate Demands to 118th Congress

February 9, 2023

Jessica Mengistab
Program Manager, Climate & Clean Energy Advocacy
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
(732) 336-1606

Nurses from Forty-Two National Nursing Organizations Issue List of Climate Demands to 118th Congress

Washington, D.C.– With the 118th Congress back in session, 42 nursing groups from across the nation have united to endorse the Joint Commitment Statement on Climate Change and Health. Shared with the 118th Congress today, the statement outlines a call to action addressed to the Biden Administration and federal agencies urging stronger protections for public health and calls for:

  • Declaring climate change a public health emergency
  • Cutting climate pollution 50% by 2030
  • Enacting cleaner car standards and transitioning to zero emission vehicles
  • Ensuring Justice40 implementation meets stated goals
  • Mandating active decarbonization efforts across health systems and practice settings
  • Requiring a whole government approach to addressing the climate crisis
  • Promoting climate health education for nurses to prepare for climate related events
  • Supporting federal dollars for researching climate change and health 

While the statement is addressed to the Biden Administration, nurses are sharing their demands with the 118th Congress to ask for their support through strong policies to protect public health. 

Nurses treat each patient regardless of their background, ethnicity, race, gender or political affiliation. It is with these same ethical principles that nurses are bound, through a professional code of conduct, to recognize that the climate health emergency demands widespread action and collaboration. Climate change impacts communities in rural, suburban, and urban areas. The 42 nursing groups endorsing the statement are from a variety of practice settings and specialties located throughout the country in hospitals, clinics, schools, workplaces, and nursing homes. Nurses continue to see the effects of climate change impacting patients across the lifespan and will continue to urge the Biden Administration and the 118th Congress to enact policies which save lives, advance environmental justice, and improve public health. 

“The health consequences of climate change are among the most urgent public health and health equity crises of the 21st century. The National League for Nursing recognizes the importance of educating current and future nurses across the spectrum of higher education for climate change-informed practice and policy leadership. Nurses must be prepared to anticipate and mitigate climate-triggered adversities such as food shortages, water contamination, and interruptions to public transit and emergency services as they fulfill their calling to deliver patient-centered, culturally sensitive care.”

-President and CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, National League for Nursing (NLN) 

“Climate change has a profound effect on the health and safety of our Latino community in the U.S. and abroad. In fact, a majority of Latinos in the U.S. live in three states- California, Texas and Florida- that are currently experiencing the effects of climate change. As nurses and trusted community partners, we must prepare our workforce to be able to address the diverse health challenges associated with climate change to ensure the health and safety of future generations.”

-President Adrianna Nava, PhD, MPA, MS, RN, National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) 

“ACHNE members are committed to designing and advancing climate health curricula and guidelines for nurses and other health professional partners. We support targeted reform to decarbonize the health sector and mitigate the effects of climate change, which will promote human health and planetary health. We welcome opportunities to engage with Congress in finding actionable climate health policy and system solutions to protect public health.”

-President Krista Jones DNP, MSN, RN, PHNA-BC, ELAN Fellow, Association of Community Health Nursing Educators (ACHNE) 

“Climate change directly impacts the physical and mental health of children and adolescents in all aspects of their lives. Because children are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, it’s imperative that pediatric-focused APRNs and our nursing colleagues are educated on the health effects of climate change to mitigate the harm to children and improve long-term health outcomes.” 

-President Jennifer Sonney, PhD, APRN, PPCNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) 

“As nurses, delivering a unified message to our new Congress is critical. Everyday nurses encounter patients experiencing the health impacts from climate change. Climate change is threatening life as we know it. We want Congress to know nurses are here to engage in policy discussions to ensure equitable care for everyone occurs in the face of climate impacts.” 

-Katie Huffling, DNP, RN, CNM, FAAN, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE)


The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.