Climate change and human health

WHO conference on health and climate: objectives and themes

Conference objective

The health and sustainable development community is mobilized behind evidence-based mechanisms and interventions to mutually reinforce health and climate policy, to programme and enhance climate resilient health systems, and support health-promoting climate change mitigation policies.

Two main topics will be discussed at the conference:

Strengthening health system resilience to climate risks

This thematic area will cover increasing health system resilience to climate-sensitive health risks such as extreme weather events, climate-sensitive communicable diseases, and threats to food, water and food security. It will include a focus on targeting protection towards the most vulnerable populations and stages of the life course, identification of effective interventions, and will work towards developing consensus on an operational framework defining the main health system functions to increase health system resilience to climate variability and change.

Promoting health while mitigating climate change

This thematic area will cover opportunities to improve health while also controlling climate pollutants. It will focus on key sectors, such as health, energy, and transport, and include specific consideration of the extent to which the health sector can lead by example in providing better services while reducing its own environmental impact, and the potential for economic savings through reduction in the large burden of non-communicable disease associated with air pollution. It will also cover opportunities to further advance collaborative mechanisms, such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

Within each of these themes the conference will make recommendations on (i) policy options to maximize health benefits; and (ii) the specific contribution of the health sector to the objectives. These themes will also form the basis for two parallel workshop sessions during the conference.

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WHO conference on health and climate