Since global climate change began to emerge as a major issue in the late 1980s, WHO has guided and coordinated the research agenda on this issue, and contributed to major assessments, such as those of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. WHO has assembled and reported the evidence of the links of climate change to health, quantified past and projected future impacts, and identified vulnerable populations. Since the late 1990s, WHO has worked with member states across the world to raise awareness of the healthy implications of climate change, and to give guidance on assessing risks and developing national and local responses to specific threats, such as heatwaves, floods and vector-borne disease.).
As the evidence has accumulated, we are now placing a stronger focus on action. The programmes of WHO, from infectious disease surveillance and control to health action in emergencies, already protect lives from climate related hazards across the world. WHO is working to bring this capacity, and that of the health community across its 193 member states, to bear on the additional risks posed by climate change.
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