Read Our 2023 NC BREATHE Report: Highlights and Themes From the Conference

We’re excited to announce the 2023 NC BREATHE post-conference report is now available! We’ve collected all the key highlights and underlying themes from the event and outlined new strategies and recommendations that policymakers, health professionals, and organizations can implement to support those most vulnerable to air pollution and climate change.

The goal of the conference is to unite healthcare professionals, scientists, frontline communities, students, policymakers, and environmental allies to exchange ideas for climate justice and healthier communities in North Carolina. 

If you missed it, here’s a recap of the event and session recordings.

What Came From NC BREATHE 2023

The conference discussions revealed some common issues, such as language barriers, lack of formal medical training on the health effects of climate and air pollution, significant environmental challenges in health systems, cumulative impacts on overburdened communities, and a lack of transparency in permitting decisions. 

Another theme that kept resurfacing throughout the conference was the individuals that are the true subject matter experts: community members. In order to achieve health equity, it’s vital for NC decision-makers to spend time with residents—they are the true “PhDs” of their communities, and experience these problems daily. 

With this, we’ve compiled a list of action items that came from the keynote and panel discussions. In order to improve the well-being of North Carolinians and become a leader in clean energy, we must first: 

  • Push policy interventions
  • Create clean energy expansions
  • Support vulnerable communities
  • Continue government initiatives like executive orders
  • Develop innovative green initiatives
  • Spread public awareness

The World Health Organization considers climate change the primary health threat facing humanity, so change is more vital now than ever. However, we can’t truly address climate change while ignoring the connections to air pollution and environmental racism crises, issues that disproportionately impact low-income and BIPOC communities. 

How to Take Action

No one is safe from the effects of climate change and air pollution, and we all play a role in reversing the damage done to the planet and the health of its inhabitants. So, what can you do to get involved?

First, take a look at the full post-conference report here!  Then share it with elected representatives.

Looking Ahead to NC BREATHE 2024

Ready for NC BREATHE 2024? We’re moving our usual conference date to autumn, so look for our big announcement next spring! And to the nearly 200 attendees, sponsors, and vendors who made this year a success, THANK YOU! We look forward to seeing you in 2024.