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Obama-Era Climate Change Leaders Launch a Climate Health Center at Harvard

Harvard University and Google together launched a center on Wednesday that "will seek to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in building products and materials," according to a press release from Harvard.

Gina McCarthy, who was head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, will lead the Center for Climate, Health, and Global Environment (C-CHANGE for short). Other colleagues from the Obama administration were on hand to celebrate the center's opening, InsideClimate News reports: former Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the Paris Agreement, and former presidential science adviser John Holdren, who made climate change a central issue for his office, gave speeches.

McCarthy wrote the Clean Power Plan, limiting how much carbon dioxide power plants could emit. The Trump administration rescinded the plan in October of 2017, and withdrew from the Paris Agreement a year ago.

The Boston Globe recently followed McCarthy for a week as she gave talks about taking action against global warming and winning over skeptics by emphasizing how a warmer planet harms people's health—instead of "polar bears" or "birds and bunnies." Kerry has also been speaking about climate change. And Pacific Standard interviewed Holdren earlier this month, learning about his work with science organizations and meetings with legislators, where he urges them to support funding for research and oppose policies such as the EPA's proposed "secret science" rule.

C-CHANGE will give these Obama-era leaders a new venue to continue to combat climate change under the Trump administration, which tends to oppose regulation and deny the importance of mitigating climate change.