The American Lung Association has led a number of events and initiatives focused on advancing clean air and climate change policy. Some of them are listed below.

“Clean Air for All” Virtual Events, co-hosted with American University’s Center for Environmental Policy and Center for Environmental Filmmaking 

  • “Looking Ahead: A Roadmap for Healthy Air & Equitable Climate Action for the Biden Administration” virtual panel event on February 4, 2021

Joe Goffman, Acting Assistant Administrator for air at EPA, gave brief remarks to start this virtual panel event, which featured prominent leaders representing the environmental justice, legal, state air regulator and industry perspectives. The panel featured a lively discussion focused on ways the Biden-Harris Administration can help to deliver equitable and health-focused climate and clean air solutions by supporting full implementation of the Clean Air Act, improving air quality monitoring technologies and reporting, fostering the growth of clean, non-combustible energy and low-emission and zero-emission vehicles, and other promising approaches. The event recording is here.

  • Unbreathable: The Fight for Healthy Air”   

The American Lung Association is proud to have supported the creation of the film “Unbreathable: The Fight for Healthy Air,” a timely, powerful look at fifty years of the Clean Air Act and the challenges we still face to ensure healthy air for everyone. Weaving historical milestones with current day stories of environmental injustice, this 30-minute film is an excellent tool for educational and community engagement.  

  • Watch the virtual panel discussion that followed the film’s June 2020 premiere, featuring the film’s director and individuals featured in the film.
  • Learn about how to host your own virtual screening of Unbreathable using our Healthy Air Activist Toolkit.
  • “Clean Air for All: 50 Years of the Clean Air Act” Symposium on September 29, 2020 

To mark the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Air Act and the 30th Anniversary of the Clean Air Act Amendments, the American Lung Association partnered with American University’s Center for Environmental Policy and Center for Environmental Filmmaking to host a half day virtual symposium on September 29, 2020.

The Symposium recognized the accomplishments of the Clean Air Act, documented its benefits and reaffirmed its role as an essential element in protecting the health of Americans. The nation has enjoyed major gains in air quality as a result of the Act, but a great deal of work remains to be done to protect more than 141 million Americans who still live in areas where the air quality puts their health at risk, and to address the new air quality challenges posed by climate change.  

Read the Symposium highlights here.
Watch the Symposium recording here

Symposium panels:

  • The Promise of the Clean Air ActLeaders in the fields of law, public health and environmental justice discussed the connections between one’s zip code and the likelihood of suffering disproportionate health and economic impacts from air pollution. Panelists also covered the legal underpinnings of the law along with legal approaches for addressing disparities. 
  • Innovation for Cleaner AirWhile clean air is protected by the Clean Air Act, improvements cannot be achieved through regulations alone. In this discussion, learn from practitioners who are advancing clean air through both policy and 
  • Clean Air and Climate Change in the 21st CenturyFrom rising temperatures resulting in more intense and frequent wildfires, to the formation of more ground-level ozone pollution – we are seeing the devastating impacts of climate change on our air quality right now. Clean air cannot be achieved or protected without addressing climate change. In this conversation, experts from the fields of law, public health, and science will discuss tools used to assess the relationships between climate change, air quality, and health impacts, and solutions needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
  • Lessons from the Past 50 YearsIn this interactive dialogue, learn from and engage with those who were responsible for the original 1970 Clean Air Act and the 1990 Amendments at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency and in Congress. 

2019: Year of Air Pollution & Health

In January 2019, the American Lung Association launched the "Year of Air Pollution & Health" to increase public understanding and engagement around the link between air pollution and climate change, and how they impact our health. Each month of 2019 we focused on a different topic—from major pollution sources, to vulnerable populations, to steps everyone can take to protect the air we breathe. Check out this blog post, which looks back on some of the highlights and the successes of the Year of Air Pollution & Health. 

Additional Recorded Events

  • November 19, 2020 Virtual Event - "Empowering Capable Climate Communicators” Symposium

On Thursday, November 19, Vice Chair of the American Lung Association’s Board of Directors and Mission Programs Dr. Sumita Khatri delivered keynote remarks and spoke on a health panel at the 10th Annual "Empowering Capable Climate Communicators” symposium held by the CLEO Institute and the University of Miami’s School of Medicine. The symposium recording can be accessed here.

  • October 14, 2020 Virtual Event – “A Conversation with Mary Nichols, Former Chair of the California Air Resources Board”

During this hour- long conversation with Dan Fiorino, Director of the Center for Environmental Policy at American University, in an event co-sponsored by the American Lung Association and the American University Center for Environmental Filmmaking, Former Chair Nichols covered topics including the value of the Clean Air Act (CAA), California laws regarding vehicles and vulnerable communities, the future of clean air and climate, as well as the inherent link between a sound economy and a safe, clean environment. You can view the webinar recording here.  

  • August 19, 2020 Webinar - “Advocacy and Activism at Work: Clean Air, Climate & Equity”

On August 19, 2020 the School of Public Affairs at American University, the American Lung Association and the Center for Environmental Policy hosted a screening of “Unbreathable: The Fight for Healthy Air,” followed by a panel discussion featuring climate and healthy air activists. Watch the panelists address their critical work in advocating for environmental justice, clean air, and a livable climate - all of which are essential for healthy communities.

  • July 15, 2020 Virtual Town Hall - “Air Quality and COVID-19: Connections, Health Impacts, and Racial Disparities”

This webinar discussed the preliminary implications of findings that suggest higher death rates of COVID-19 in individuals who have faced long-term exposure to poor air quality (PM 2.5). It also focuses on the findings that communities of color, especially African Americans, are especially at risk from the health impacts of both air pollution and COVID-19. Speakers include researchers and experts from both the health and public policy perspectives working to understand and combat these synergistic health threats. Link to recording here.

  • October 16, 2019 – Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Event at the National Press Club in DC

On Wednesday, October 16, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (DE), former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, and the Executive Director of the American Public Health Association Dr. Georges C. Benjamin joined American Lung Association Chief Mission Officer Deborah Brown for a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on the importance of maintaining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The link to the event recording is here.

Page last updated: October 19, 2023

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