ASM Policy Recommendations to Address Climate Change

July 15, 2022

The science is clear: our climate is rapidly changing. Microbes, the tiniest forms of life on our planet, are adept at adapting, surviving and thriving in extreme, constantly changing environments. Experts Dr. Peter Hotez, Dr. Jo Handelsman and Dr. Jay Lennon led a Congressional briefing on the impact of climate change and how microbiology research can curb dangerous effects of viral pathogens, harness the power of microbes for a sustainable global food supply, support renewable energy development and preserve biodiversity in our environment. 

Understanding the world of microbes can help us harness their power for a sustainable global food supply, decarbonization, energy security and the growing bioeconomy, while curbing the impact of dangerous pathogens, or disease-causing microorganisms. It is not enough, however, to simply understand microbial sciences. We must put knowledge into action. Doing so requires policy solutions.

ASM Policy Recommendations

The American Society for Microbiology has 6 key policy recommendations to support research on microbes and leverage their power to support climate-resilient systems.
  1. Support basic research on microbial functions and the contributions of microbes to the generation and consumption of warming gases, ecosystem stability and human well-being.
  2. Incorporate microbes as sentinel measures of climate change, including the detection and monitoring of microbial pathogens and beneficial microbes, to predict and prevent negative impacts.
  3. Leverage the power of microbes to support climate-resilient systems.
  4. Strengthen coordination among federal agencies and programs and leadership with international partners.
  5. Incentivize science-based climate solutions, scalable innovation and real-world applications.
  6. Increase public engagement and understanding of how microbes impact all aspects of our daily lives, including climate change.

Author: ASM Advocacy

ASM Advocacy
ASM Advocacy is making it easy and providing opportunities for members to advocate for evidence-based scientific policy.