WHO/Yoshi Shimizu
                                ? Credits

                                Climate change

                                  Climate change is impacting human lives and health in a variety of ways. It threatens the essential ingredients of good health - clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply, and safe shelter - and has the potential to undermine decades of progress in global health.
                                  Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress alone. The direct damage costs to health is estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion per year by 2030.
                                  Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond. WHO supports countries in building climate-resilient health systems and tracking national progress in protecting health from climate change.
                                  Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices results in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution. The Paris Agreement on climate change is therefore potentially the strongest health agreement of this century. WHO supports countries in assessing the health gains that would result from the implementation of the existing Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement, and the potential for larger gains from more ambitious climate action.

                                  WHO response
                                  Many policies and individual choices have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and produce major health co-benefits. The phase out of polluting energy systems, for example, or the promotion of public transportation and active movement, could both reduce carbon emissions and cut the burden of household and ambient air pollution, which cause 7 million premature deaths per year.
                                  WHO’s work plan on climate change and health includes:
                                  • Advocacy & Partnerships: to coordinate with partner agencies within the UN system, and ensure that health is properly represented in the climate change agenda, as well as to provide and disseminate information on the threats that climate change presents to human health, and opportunities to promote health while cutting carbon emissions;
                                  • Monitoring science and evidence: to coordinate reviews of the scientific evidence on the links between climate change and health; assess country's preparedness and needs when facing climate change; and to develop a global research agenda;
                                  • Supporting countries to protect human health from climate change: strengthening national capacities and improving the resilience and adaptive capacity of health systems to deal with the adverse health effects of climate change
                                  • Building capacity on climate change and human health: to assist countries to build capacity to reduce health vulnerability to climate change, and promote health while reducing carbon emissions.


                                  WHO Resolutions

                                  WHO considers climate change an urgent, global health challenge that requires prioritized action now and in the decades to come. Through its resolutions, strategies and workplans, WHO and its Member States work multilaterally towards protecting the health and well-being of all people from the impacts of climate change.

                                  WHO global strategy on health, environment and climate change 2019 – 2023: A new WHO global strategy on health, environment and climate change was approved by member states in 2019 at the 72nd Annual World Health Assembly for the period 2019–2023, outlining the transformation needed to improve lives and well-being sustainably through healthy environments.

                                  WHO plan of action on climate change and health in small island developing States 2019 – 2023: With small island developing States (SIDS) being extremely vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change, WHO’s member states approved a WHO global plan of action on climate change and health in small island developing States in 2019 for the period 2019–2023.

                                  WHO 13th General Programme of Work 13 (2019 - 2023): As part of WHO’s General Programme of Work 13 (2019 - 2023), WHO is contributing to the global agenda on health, environment and climate change through it strategic priority of Promoting Healthier Populations.

                                  Report on Health, Environment and Climate Change by the Director-General (2018): Report by the Director-General outlining the combination of both new and long-standing environmental and health challenges Member States are facing.

                                  WHO workplan on climate change and health 2014 - 2019: WHO’s climate change and health workplan for 2014 – 2019 prioritized climate action through four main objectives: 1.advocate and raise awareness, 2. strengthen partnerships, 3. enhance scientific evidence, 4. strengthen health system

                                  EB139 Progress Report on Climate Change and Health: A 2016 progress report on climate change and health by the Executive Board highlighted the role of the global health community in implementing the Paris Agreement.

                                  WHO workplan on climate change and health 2008 – 2013: WHO’s climate change and health workplan for 2014 – 2019 defined activities under the objectives of advocacy, partnerships, science and evidence, and health system strengthening. The workplan was developed on request by Member States urging increased action.

                                  Climate change and health resolution WHA 61.19 (2008): Resolution on climate change and health at the Sixty-first World Health Assembly on the serious risk of climate change to global health and necessary actions by WHO and Member States.

                                  Report by the Secretariat on Climate Change & Health (2008): Report by the WHO Secretariat highlighting the profoundly adverse ways in which climate change will affect some of the most fundamental determinants of health, and the international response necessary to protect health from climate change.

                                  250 000

                                  additional deaths

                                  from climate-sensitive diseases (heat stress, malnutrition, dengue and malaria) from 2030 onward

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                                  2 to 1

                                  benefit-cost ratio

                                  Health gains value from climate action is double the cost of mitigation policies at global level

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                                  Special Initiatives

                                  Building climate resilient health systems

                                  Climate Change and Health in SIDS


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