Climate Change, Air Quality, and Human Health





At CEP we’re seeking to frame the conversation about climate change with an emphasis of how it affects air quality and thereby human health.


Through a Recognition Grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, CEP formed a Clean Energy = Clean Air Coalition which includes experts in public health, air quality, environmentalism, and community engagement. The Clean Energy = Clean Air Coalition met to discuss where we are currently and where we’d like to be with regard to engaging the public on making this important connection.

Populations most impacted by air-pollution have the most to gain from reduced emissions, yet the connections between clean air, and expedient emissions reductions (renewable energy/energy efficiency) are not readily apparent.  Educating the public on the extensive health benefits resulting from clean energy and energy efficiency will lead to increased support for clean energy policies and improved public health.


 Improved air quality reduces premature deaths, heart attacks, asthma, respiratory infections, and strokes. Cutting carbon emissions at power plants by 32% nationwide will reduce hundreds of thousands of tons of harmful particulate pollution, resulting in improved public health. This public education initiative will connect individual energy efficiency measures and support for renewable energy with reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improved air quality, and positive health impacts in the Shawnee, Douglas, Miami, Leavenworth, Johnson and Wyandotte County.


CEP convened a Clean Energy = Clean Air Coalition to collaboratively highlight the health benefits of clean energy and encourage future clean energy/air policies, thereby accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy while improving public health in Kansas.  The Clean Energy = Clean Air Coalition will provide relevant community education about the health risks from power plant emissions, including increased respiratory illness, lung diseases, and asthma.


CEP values collaborating with and learning from other organizations. The organizations CEP engaged with on this project include; Johnson County Health and Environment, Johnson County Department  of Sustainability, League of Women Voters of Johnson County, Douglas County Health Department, Diesel Health Project, City of Lawrence and Douglas County Department of Sustainability, KU Center for Sustainability, Grassland Heritage Foundation, Wyandotte County Health Department on Air Quality, Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), American Lung Association of Kansas, Kansas City Kansas Chapter of NAACP, Area Agency on Aging of Wyandotte County and Leavenworth, and Miami County Health Department.