Climate change and human health

Third Global Conference on Health and Climate


In 2018, WHO will hold the Third Global Conference on Climate and Health. Taking an innovative, geographically dispersed approach, the Conference will be held in three locations, in the Pacific (Nadi, Fiji; 15-16 March), the Indian Ocean (St Louis, Mauritius; 21-22 March), and the Caribbean (Trinidad; 6-7 June), and will be accompanied by a webinar organized in partnership with Health Canada (29 March).

Together, the meetings will bring together Government representatives from over 40 of the most vulnerable countries and territories in the world, with WHO, other UN partners and technical experts to advance global action on climate change and health.

Also a formal launch of the special initiative on Climate Change and Health in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

The Conference will also constitute a formal launch in each of the regions of the special initiative on Climate Change and Health in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), launched by WHO, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Government of Fiji, at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in November 2017.

Objective of the conference

The objective of these three workshops is to develop, in consultation with Member States and other key stakeholders, a draft action plan for the SIDS Initiative with the following areas of action:

  • Empowerment - supporting health leadership in island countries to integrate health into national climate change planning and engage in international climate change negotiations;
  • Evidence - producing country profiles of climate change and health, describing vulnerabilities and adaptation options (e.g. morbidity and mortality attributed to unsafe water, unsafe sanitation and lack of hygiene, malnutrition, disasters);
  • Implementation - building climate-resilient health systems, including the strengthening of governance and policy, integration of climate early warning systems with health information systems, preventive and curative service delivery, and disaster-proof and smart health-care facilities; and
  • Resources - facilitating access to climate and health financing mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility to support climate resilient health systems of island countries.


Participation at the conference is by invitation.

Travel and accommodation

Registration is free, but the organisers are not able to cover travel or accommodation costs.

The Paris agreement

The Paris Agreement, adopted on 12 December 2015, marks the beginning of a new era in the global response to climate change. The world now has a global climate agreement - that will have a major public health policy impact as countries take action. As stated in the agreement, “the right to health”, will be central to the actions taken.

The Agreement not only sets ambitious aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming well below 2°C, it also commits countries to strengthen adaptation. This includes implementing plans that should protect human health from the worst impacts of climate change, such as air pollution, heat waves, floods and droughts, and the ongoing degradation of water resources and food security. It commits countries to finance clean and resilient futures in the most vulnerable countries.

Through monitoring and revision of national contributions every five years, the world will begin to see improvements not only in the environment, but also in health, including reductions in the more than 6.5 million deaths worldwide that are attributed to air pollution every year.

In 2017, Fiji became the first small island developing country to hold the Presidency of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-23), focusing the world’s attention on those most vulnerable to climate risks, and particularly those living in island nations. WHO, in partnership with the Fijian Presidency and the UNFCCC Secretariat, jointly launched a special initiative on climate change and health in small island developing States, as one of the main outcomes of COP-23. WHO has therefore focused the Third Global Conference on Health and Climate specifically on developing an ambitious action plan to implement the initiative, to protect and promote the health of some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.


Infographics on health and climate change

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