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EPA ORD Healthy & Resilient Communities Webinar – Human Social Systems and Justice in the 5th U.S. National Climate Assessment

March 12 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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Climate change impacts our health, environment, and economy, with differentiated effects on communities and peoples around the United States and the globe. Human activities have been the dominant driver of climate change and it is inextricably tied to a history of human development and decision-making from individuals to organizations to entire societies. For these reasons, we cannot fully understand or respond to current or future changes in climate without understanding the history of human organization – that is, without understanding the social systems that influence these climatic changes.

This webinar shares findings from the Fifth National Climate Assessment’s Social Systems and Justice chapter. This is the first-ever chapter to address whether and how the actions taken to create, mitigate, or adapt to climate change are expected to produce just or unjust outcomes. This webinar will review the chapter’s three key messages: social systems are changing the climate and distributing its impacts inequitably; social systems structure how people perceive and communicate about climate change; and climate justice is possible if processes like migration and energy transitions are equitable. It will also discuss related materials from the report’s sectoral and regional chapters.

Presenter Information

Keely Maxwell, Ph.D.

Keely is a general anthropologist in the Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response in the U.S. EPA’s Office of Research and Development. She carries out applied social science research on community resilience, environmental cleanups and disaster waste decision-making. Keely was the Coordinating Federal Lead Author for the Social Systems and Justice chapter in the Fifth National Climate Assessment and Chapter Lead for the Built Environment, Urban Systems, and Cities chapter in the Fourth National Climate Assessment.

Emily Eisenhauer, Ph.D.

Emily is a social scientist in the Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment in the U.S. EPA’s Office of Research and Development. Her research background is in applied social science and community-based research collaborations on social and environmental justice. Her current research focuses on community resilience, community capacity and emphasizing translational and community-engaged methods. She is the Agency Chapter Lead for the Fifth National Climate Assessment chapter on Social Systems and Justice.


March 12
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


EPA Office of Research and Development
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