The American Public Health Association (APHA) is commending the more than 190 world leaders who worked together on the adoption of the Paris Agreement. The long-term framework to reduce carbon emissions in order to address climate change is “a crucial investment in global health that will ultimately save lives and decrease health care costs,” according to a statement by the group.

Said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, M.D.:

“We strongly support President Barack Obama’s commitment to combating climate change and are proud that the U.S. is leading the fight to create a healthier environment for generations to come. This agreement underscores the urgency of implementing policies that will help meet these new targets and protect the public from negative health impacts, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Climate and Health Program.

“The Paris Agreement makes it clear that climate change poses a serious threat to people of all nations. Now is the time to take action. We must build upon the progress that’s been made and continue to promote strategies that mitigate the risks of climate change and preserve funding for programs that protect the public’s health.”

The APHA membership represents all fields of public health.