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Environment and Health in a Global Context

IGCC’s work in international environmental policy began in the 1990s when IGCC initiated a state-wide research program on global climate change to bring objective scientific and technical expertise to the United Nations climate change negotiations.

Over the years, the focus of IGCC’s environmental policy program has expanded to include the health/environment nexus while acknowledging the importance of global health as a concern in its own right.

Past and current projects on beach water quality, sustainable fisheries, air quality, climate change, and other issues illuminate not only the human cost, but also the economic cost of environmental degradation. Led by Research Director Joshua Graff Zivin, current research covers transboundary environmental issues such as ozone depletion and water scarcity, and health concerns resulting directly from climate threats.

In the coming year, IGCC will host a newly formed multicampus consortium of UC researchers that work on the environment and human capital, which is widely viewed as playing an essential role in the creation of wealth and economic growth, particularly in developing countries. Health and education lie at the core of human capital formation and are profoundly influenced by environmental quality; however, our understanding of these relationships is just emerging. New research will begin to flesh out some of the linkages and help to inform better policy decisions.