Climate change and human health

What WHO is doing for climate and health

WHO Workplan on climate change and health

WHO was requested by the 61st World Health Assembly in 2008 to develop and implement a work plan to support member states in the protection of human health from climate change. The Workplan approved by the Executive Board in 2009, orients WHOs priorities to carry out activities in four key areas. Learn more about WHOs activities and available resources on Climate and Health below.

The climate change and health workplan aims to:

  • support health systems in all countries, in particular low- and middle-income States and small island States, in order to enhance capacity for assessing and monitoring health vulnerability, risks and impacts due to climate change;
  • identify strategies and actions to protect human health, particularly of the most vulnerable groups; and
  • share knowledge and good practices.

Priorities and areas of work in climate and health

Advocate and raise awareness

WHO is raising awareness of climate risks to health through advocacy campaigns, publications and policy briefings, encouraging representation of WHO and health actors in key climate forums, and providing multimedia products which raise the prominence of health issues on the climate agenda and stimulate appropriate health protection by decision-makers.

Strengthen partnerships

WHO, as the specialized UN agency for health, actively engages in the UNFCCC and OneUN initiatives for Climate Change. Partnerships, networks, and collaborations can improve knowledge and evidence, enhance protection of health from climate risks, and enhance health benefits of low carbon energy choices.

Enhance scientific evidence

WHO works with leading experts and institutions worldwide to improve the understanding and evidence base of the linkages of health and climate, the burden of disease attributable to climate change, and economic costs of climate change adaptation and mitigation to protect health. Read more about WHOs research agenda, tools, and studies on climate change.

Strengthen health systems

WHO supports member states to strengthen health systems to improve population health, and increase climate resilience of communities and the health system to identify, monitor, respond, and prepare for changes in health and disease burdens related to climate. Read more about WHOs six steps to climate resilient health systems.

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