Climate change poses an extraordinary and unprecedented threat to human health, not only by producing direct health consequences, but also by exacerbating disparities in social determinants of health and by adversely affecting ecosystems, food systems, and public health infrastructure. To date, United States public health responses to climate-related health effects have been shaped largely by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Building Resilience against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework. Public health activities have primarily focused on assessing potential health impacts and developing responsive interventions. The Five Essential Public Health Law Services framework, which provides a series of iterative steps based upon past successes in public health, may help to build the field’s capacity to communicate, implement, and evaluate legal interventions. When crafted through cross-sectoral collaboration and grounded in principles of health equity, the law may serve as an effective tool for building climate resilience and ameliorating the adverse health effects of climate change.
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