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这是美国疫情快速恶化的原因之一

这是美国疫情快速恶化的原因之一

方绘香(Erika Fry) 2020年09月21日
世界卫生组织指出,每年因空气污染导致死亡的人数高达700万。而根据初步研究,空气污染也是新冠疫情快速恶化的一个原因。

一周以来,美国西海岸大范围山火产生的烟雾,正在影响着全美空气质量。这为管理新冠疫情肆虐带来了更大挑战,也加剧了疫情所暴露的健康差异。显然,采取行动解决美国气候、健康和公平的多重危机,已经迫在眉睫。

不过很多人可能都没有意识到,这些问题和解决方案是相关的,也应当被认为是相关的,这是9月16日清晨召开的《财富》虚拟大会上,专家提出的观点。

“公平问题总是气候或健康讨论的中心议题。”美国公共卫生协会气候、健康与公平中心(Center for Climate, Health, and Equity at the American Public Health Association)的主管苏瑞利•帕特尔称。“我们正在探讨的不止是权力的分配,而是确保每个社区都有能力从气候事件中恢复。”帕特尔注意到,面对目前持续的山火,某些社区无法就地避难,也不能疏散居民避开污染的空气。

世界卫生组织(WHO)指出,每年因空气污染导致死亡的人数高达700万。而根据初步研究,空气污染也是新冠疫情快速恶化的一个原因。

“接触污染最多的人,都是最贫穷的,而且在历史上也遭受过不公平待遇,地球上任何一个地方都如此。”儿科医生亚伦•伯恩斯坦称,他是哈佛大学气候、健康与全球环境中心(Harvard’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment)的主管。伯恩斯坦注意到,尽管需要做进一步研究,仍然有证据证明空气污染会对出生结局和发育产生影响:在空气污染的环境中,早产或低出生体重出现的可能性更大。生活在污染空气中的幼儿,更有可能产生终身残疾和心理健康问题;空气污染也被认为与糖尿病和一系列其他健康问题有关。

伯恩斯坦强调了联系健康问题和气候变化、以进一步透彻阐释气候变化的重要性和紧迫性:“在这里,关键是要意识到,气候变化提出的解决方案——比如说可再生能源——不止能够应对碳污染问题,还可以解决健康和公平问题。解决气候变化的行动,也包括了一部分行动,能够促进公平、帮助我们预先阻止大流行病、并起到分担世界上某些大病重担的作用。”

为了展开行动需要做些什么?私人部门又应当起到什么样的作用?

清洁空气基金(Clean Air Fund)的执行董事简•伯斯顿敦促,商业领袖在支持应对气候变化与社会和健康不平等问题时,应该在公共场合更多地发声。“世界上很多国家,都有一种错误的说法:你必须在经济发展和清洁的空气之间抉择。”伯斯顿称。“其实并非如此,企业需要解释这两者没有矛盾,因为涉及经济领域时,企业发出的声音是最可信的。提倡清洁空气的经济效益是件重要的事。”

伯斯顿鼓励公司在考虑如何使用经营性资产支持以上事业时,富于创意,深思熟虑。她注意到,谷歌身体力行,监控污染,宜家家居已经开始大量买进作物残株,转变为产品;这些残株在印度通常被烧掉,成为主要的污染源。

“如果我们有到位的激励措施,就不会没有巧思妙想,也不会缺乏这样的想法。”伯恩斯坦称。“我们真正需要的是碳定价。没有碳定价,我们就不会受到激励,按照我们需要的节奏加速改变。”他注意到,作为一个社会,我们已经按照健康影响支付了碳价格。(美国当地时间9月17日早些时候,商业圆桌会议呼吁制定碳定价政策。)

伯恩斯坦号召美国的公司游说美国国会考虑碳定价问题,让国会意识到对气候采取的行动有利于所有各方:“公司需要走上前去,辟谣如下观点:经济繁荣和私人部门欣欣向荣与担负社会责任不相容。”他指出,随着全球很多地区根据巴黎气候协定(Paris Climate Agreement)的议程采用绿色科技发展,美国公司的竞争力将会减弱。“在碳定价领域,对很多公司来说都是占据领先地位的绝佳机会。”

总部位于美国波士顿的生物科技公司渤健(Biogen),正在致力于让员工参与解决错综复杂的气候、健康和公平问题。其首席执行官米歇尔•冯纳玺注意到,渤健自从2014年以来便实现了碳中和;公司也设定了目标,建立了员工资源网,让员工更仔细地思考个人和职业行为——开车、为住宅升温以及在办公室的工作方式,会产生怎样的影响?他说,员工的回答激动人心。

“我们需要有勇气制定度量标准。”冯纳玺称。“在没有度量标准的前提下讨论,只是一厢情愿的想法。”(财富中文网)

译者:夏晴

一周以来,美国西海岸大范围山火产生的烟雾,正在影响着全美空气质量。这为管理新冠疫情肆虐带来了更大挑战,也加剧了疫情所暴露的健康差异。显然,采取行动解决美国气候、健康和公平的多重危机,已经迫在眉睫。

不过很多人可能都没有意识到,这些问题和解决方案是相关的,也应当被认为是相关的,这是9月16日清晨召开的《财富》虚拟大会上,专家提出的观点。

“公平问题总是气候或健康讨论的中心议题。”美国公共卫生协会气候、健康与公平中心(Center for Climate, Health, and Equity at the American Public Health Association)的主管苏瑞利•帕特尔称。“我们正在探讨的不止是权力的分配,而是确保每个社区都有能力从气候事件中恢复。”帕特尔注意到,面对目前持续的山火,某些社区无法就地避难,也不能疏散居民避开污染的空气。

世界卫生组织(WHO)指出,每年因空气污染导致死亡的人数高达700万。而根据初步研究,空气污染也是新冠疫情快速恶化的一个原因。

“接触污染最多的人,都是最贫穷的,而且在历史上也遭受过不公平待遇,地球上任何一个地方都如此。”儿科医生亚伦•伯恩斯坦称,他是哈佛大学气候、健康与全球环境中心(Harvard’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment)的主管。伯恩斯坦注意到,尽管需要做进一步研究,仍然有证据证明空气污染会对出生结局和发育产生影响:在空气污染的环境中,早产或低出生体重出现的可能性更大。生活在污染空气中的幼儿,更有可能产生终身残疾和心理健康问题;空气污染也被认为与糖尿病和一系列其他健康问题有关。

伯恩斯坦强调了联系健康问题和气候变化、以进一步透彻阐释气候变化的重要性和紧迫性:“在这里,关键是要意识到,气候变化提出的解决方案——比如说可再生能源——不止能够应对碳污染问题,还可以解决健康和公平问题。解决气候变化的行动,也包括了一部分行动,能够促进公平、帮助我们预先阻止大流行病、并起到分担世界上某些大病重担的作用。”

为了展开行动需要做些什么?私人部门又应当起到什么样的作用?

清洁空气基金(Clean Air Fund)的执行董事简•伯斯顿敦促,商业领袖在支持应对气候变化与社会和健康不平等问题时,应该在公共场合更多地发声。“世界上很多国家,都有一种错误的说法:你必须在经济发展和清洁的空气之间抉择。”伯斯顿称。“其实并非如此,企业需要解释这两者没有矛盾,因为涉及经济领域时,企业发出的声音是最可信的。提倡清洁空气的经济效益是件重要的事。”

伯斯顿鼓励公司在考虑如何使用经营性资产支持以上事业时,富于创意,深思熟虑。她注意到,谷歌身体力行,监控污染,宜家家居已经开始大量买进作物残株,转变为产品;这些残株在印度通常被烧掉,成为主要的污染源。

“如果我们有到位的激励措施,就不会没有巧思妙想,也不会缺乏这样的想法。”伯恩斯坦称。“我们真正需要的是碳定价。没有碳定价,我们就不会受到激励,按照我们需要的节奏加速改变。”他注意到,作为一个社会,我们已经按照健康影响支付了碳价格。(美国当地时间9月17日早些时候,商业圆桌会议呼吁制定碳定价政策。)

伯恩斯坦号召美国的公司游说美国国会考虑碳定价问题,让国会意识到对气候采取的行动有利于所有各方:“公司需要走上前去,辟谣如下观点:经济繁荣和私人部门欣欣向荣与担负社会责任不相容。”他指出,随着全球很多地区根据巴黎气候协定(Paris Climate Agreement)的议程采用绿色科技发展,美国公司的竞争力将会减弱。“在碳定价领域,对很多公司来说都是占据领先地位的绝佳机会。”

总部位于美国波士顿的生物科技公司渤健(Biogen),正在致力于让员工参与解决错综复杂的气候、健康和公平问题。其首席执行官米歇尔•冯纳玺注意到,渤健自从2014年以来便实现了碳中和;公司也设定了目标,建立了员工资源网,让员工更仔细地思考个人和职业行为——开车、为住宅升温以及在办公室的工作方式,会产生怎样的影响?他说,员工的回答激动人心。

“我们需要有勇气制定度量标准。”冯纳玺称。“在没有度量标准的前提下讨论,只是一厢情愿的想法。”(财富中文网)

译者:夏晴

In a week where smoke from widespread, West Coast wildfires is affecting air quality across the United States, compounding the challenge of managing a still-raging pandemic and the health disparities it has laid bare, it’s not hard to grasp the urgency for action on the dueling crises of climate, health, and equity in the US.

But what may be lost on many, experts speaking at a Fortune virtual event said on September 16 morning, is that those problems and solutions are related—and should be conceived as such.

“Equity is at the center of every climate or health discussion,” said Surili Patel, a director of the Center for Climate, Health, and Equity at the American Public Health Association. “We’re talking not just about the distribution of power, but we’re talking about making sure every community has the ability to bounce back from a climate event.” She noted that with the ongoing wildfires, there are certain communities who can’t shelter in place or evacuate their neighborhoods to escape the polluted air.

Air pollution, which the WHO says contributes to 7 million deaths each year, has also been linked in preliminary studies to worse COVID-19 outcomes.

“You look anywhere, the people most exposed to pollution are those who are most economically disadvantaged and often historically discriminated against,” says Aaron Bernstein, a pediatrician who leads Harvard’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment. Bernstein notes that while further study is required, there is evidence that air pollution affects birth outcomes—babies are more like to be born pre-term or at low birth weights—and development. Very young children exposed to air pollution are more likely lifelong disabilities and mental health issues; it is also thought to play a role in diabetes and a host of other health problems.

He stressed the importance of making links between health issues and climate change to further drive home the importance and urgency of the latter: “What is critical to recognize here is that the solutions on the table for climate change—renewable energy, for example—these aren’t just solutions for carbon pollution, but solutions to health and equity solutions. In actions that address climate change, there are actions that can promote equity, actions that can help us forestall pandemics, and that can at some of the biggest disease burdens in the world.”

What can be done to bring about action? And what role should the private sector play?

Jane Burston, executive director of the Clean Air Fund, urged business leaders to be more vocal and public in their support of combating climate change and social and health inequities. “In a lot of countries around the world there’s a false narrative that you have to choose between economic development and clean air," she said. "And that isn’t the case, and it needs to be businesses that explain that isn’t the case because they’re the trusted voices when it comes to the economy. Advocating for the economic benefits of cleaning the air is a biggie.”

She encouraged companies to be creative and thoughtful as to how they use their business assets to support the cause. She notes that Google does pollution monitoring and that IKEA has started buying up crop stubble, which is typically burned and a major source of pollution in India, to turn into products.

“If we have the right incentives in place, we’re not going to fail for lack of ingenuity,” said Bernstein. “What we really need is a price on carbon. Without that we don’t have the incentives to accelerate change at the pace we need.” He noted that as a society, we’re already paying a price for carbon in terms of its health impacts. (Earlier September 17, the Business Roundtable called for a price on carbon.)

He called on American companies to unleash their lobbying power to make the case to Congress that action on climate is good for all: “Corporations need to step up and bust the myth that economic prosperity and a thriving private sector or incompatible with being socially responsible.” He argued out that as much of the world moves forward with green technology and the Paris Climate Agreement agenda, U.S. businesses will become less competitive. “There’s a great opportunity for businesses to lead here.”

Biogen, the Boston-based biotech, is working hard to engage its employees on the intertwined issues of climate, health, and equity. CEO Michel Vounatsos noted the company, which has been carbon neutral since 2014, has set targets and created an employee resource network to engage workers in thinking more carefully about personal and professional behaviors—how they drive, how they heat their homes, how they work in the office. He said the response has been enthusiastic.

“We need to have the courage to set metrics,” said Vounatsos. “Talking without measurement is wishful thinking.”

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