Climate change and human health

Health and climate change toolkit for project managers

The climate change and health toolkit is a one-stop resource containing key resources that address climate change and health issues. It is intended for planners, policy makers, and those working at the policy/practice interface. We will keep this resource updated with the latest publications. Please contact us if you have any comments or suggestions, at carbonfootprint@who.int.

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Connecting global priorities: biodiversity and human health
A State of Knowledge Review
WHO, 2015
Healthy communities rely on well-functioning ecosystems. They provide clean air, fresh water, medicines and food security. They also limit disease and stabilize the climate. But biodiversity loss is happening at unprecedented rates, impacting human health worldwide, according to a new state of knowledge review of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and WHO.
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Lessons learned on health adaptation to climate variability and change: experiences across low- and middle-income countries
Technical report
WHO, 2015
Climate variability and change are exacerbating many current climate-sensitive health outcomes and have the potential to affect the ability of health system institutions and organizations to maintain or improve health burdens in the context of changing climate and development patterns. Advancing management of these risks requires systems-based and holistic approaches to adaptation. Research and practice that crosses disciplinary boundaries are vital for supporting evidence-based policies and programmes to effectively and efficiently address the health risks of climate variability and change in the context of multistressor environments. This document in the first part reviews and synthesizes the first five years of implementation (2008–2013) of projects on health adaptation to climate variability and change in low- and middle income countries worldwide. The second part of the report presents results of qualitative research undertaken to document lessons learned and good practice examples from health adaptation projects to facilitate assessing and overcoming barriers to implementation and to scaling up.
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Gender, climate change and health
Technical report
WHO, 2014
There is now strong evidence that the earth’s climate is changing rapidly, mainly due to human activities. Increasing temperatures, sea-level rises, changing patterns of precipitation, and more frequent and severe extreme events are expected to have largely adverse effects on key determinants of human health, including clean air and water, sufficient food and adequate shelter. The effects of climate on human society, and our ability to mitigate and adapt to them, are mediated by social factors, including gender. This report provides a first review of the interactions between climate change, gender and health. It documents evidence for gender differences in health risks that are likely to be exacerbated by climate change, and in adaptation and mitigation measures that can help to protect and promote health. The aim is to provide a framework to strengthen WHO support to Member States in developing health risk assessments and climate policy interventions that are beneficial to both women and men.
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WHO guidance to protect health from climate change through health adaptation planning
Technical report
WHO, 2014
The present guidance aims to ensure that the health sector works with partners in the environment and other related communities, and follow a systematic process to: engage in the overall NAP process at the national level, identify national strategic goals for building health resilience to climate change, develop a national plan with prioritized activities to achieve these goals, within a specific time period and given available resources. The guidance outlines the process to be followed to ensure these goals are achieved. In addition, further guidance on how to plan for building climate resilient health systems at country level is provided.
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Climate change and health: a tool to estimate health and adaptation costs
Technical guidance
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2013
The WHO Regional Office for Europe prepared this economic analysis tool to support adaptation planning to protect health from the negative effects of climate change in European Member States. It is based on a review of the science, and provides step-by-step guidance on estimating: (a) the costs associated with damage to health due to climate change; (b) the costs for adaptation in various sectors to protect health from such damage; and (c) the efficiency of adaptation measures: the cost of adaptation versus the expected returns, or averted health costs. The tool is expected to be applied in Member States mainly by ministries responsible for climate-change adaptation. It consists of a document describing the methods step-by-step and a manual with an Excel spreadsheet, which is a visual aid for calculating costs.
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Protecting health from climate change: vulnerability and adaptation assessment
Technical guidance
WHO, 2013
This document is designed to provide basic and flexible guidance on conducting a national or subnational assessment of current and future vulnerability (i.e. the susceptibility of a population or region to harm) to the health risks of climate change, and of policies and programmes that could increase resilience, taking into account the multiple determinants of climate-sensitive health outcomes.
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Atlas of health and climate
WHO, 2012
The Atlas of health and climate is a product of this unique collaboration between the meteorological and public health communities. It provides sound scientific information on the connections between weather and climate and major health challenges. These range from diseases of poverty to emergencies arising from extreme weather events and disease outbreaks. They also include environmental degradation, the increasing prevalence of noncommunicable diseases and the universal trend of demographic ageing.
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Our planet, our health, our future. Human health and the Rio Conventions
Policy document
WHO, 2012
This discussion paper focuses on the linkages between health and biodiversity, climate change and desertification, the representation of health in the three Rio Conventions and the opportunities for more integrated and effective policy. Produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the report demonstrates the importance of human health as an integrating theme across sustainable development and calls for more coordination in addressing global environmental change. On climate change, the paper suggests, among other opportunities, increasing the use of health expertise within UNFCCC work programmes to monitor adverse impacts of climate change on health, develop adequate response measures and avoid negative impacts through adaptation measures.
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Health in the green economy
Technical report
WHO, 2011
WHO's Health in the Green Economy sector briefings examine the health impacts of climate change mitigation strategies considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their Fourth Assessment Report (Climate Change, 2007). Large, immediate health benefits from some climate change strategies are to be expected. Other strategies, however, may involve health risks or tradeoffs. These issues should be considered in the next round of IPCC mitigation reviews (Fifth Assessment Report [AR5]). See policy briefs on: Housing, Urban Transport, Household Energy in Developing Countries, Health-Care Facilities and Occupational Health.
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Training course for public health professionals on protecting our health from climate change
Training
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, 2011
WHO has developed this training course to improve the knowledge of health professionals on the associations and implications of climate change on human health and to enhance stronger and more efficient participation of the health sector in addressing climate change challenges. The training course is designed for public health professionals who are actively involved in the management and decision-making process related to health programmes. The course will also give a good foundation for non-medical professionals involved in addressing the health challenges posed by climate change.
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Protecting health from climate change: global research priorities
Technical guidance
WHO, 2009
Weather and climate affect the key determinants of human health: air, food and water. They also influence the frequency of heatwaves, floods and storms as well as the transmission of infectious diseases. In addition, policies to mitigate climate change (for example in the energy, transport or urban planning sectors) have a direct and important influence on health, for example through effects on local air pollution, physical activity, or road traffic injuries. In order to guide research in this field, WHO carried out a global consultation. Experts on climate change, health and related disciplines produced background reports covering each of the themes identified by the WHA Resolution, as well as an additional report on how to support research in this field.4–9 This was followed by an online consultation, and a three-day workshop attended by over 70 leading researchers, health practitioners, and representatives of funding bodies and other United Nations (UN) agencies. This report presents the conclusions and recommendations from this process, with the aim of improving the evidence base for policies to protect health from climate change.
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Healthy hospitals, healthy planet
Technical report
WHO in partnership with HCWH, 2009
The paper begins to define a framework for analysing and addressing the health sector’s climate footprint – including identifying seven aspects of a climate-friendly hospital. It also draws on a series of examples from around the world that demonstrate that the health sector is indeed already beginning to provide leadership in this most important area of concern to the global community. This paper is the first step in a WHO project in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) aimed at addressing the climate footprint of the health sector.
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The health benefits of tackling climate change
An Executive Summary for The Lancet Series
Journal paper
WHO, 2009
The threat of climate change has generated a global flood of policy documents, suggested technical fixes, and lifestyle recommendations. One widely held view is that their implementation would, almost without exception, prove socially uncomfortable and economically painful. But as a series of new studies shows, in one domain at least—public health—such a view is ill founded. If properly chosen, action to combat climate change can, of itself, lead to improvements in health. The news is not all bad.
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Protecting health from climate change: Connecting science, policy and people
Policy document
WHO, 2008
A new report from WHO presents an overview of the science of the links between climate change and human health. It provides an update of the evidence on health risks caused by climate change, describes which populations are most vulnerable, and outlines the actions that will be necessary to protect health from climate change. Although climate change presents a very serious threat to global public health, the key messages of the report are positive. The health sector already has at its disposal a number of effective interventions that would save lives now and reduce vulnerability to climate change in the future. In addition, there are many policy options in sectors such as transport and energy production, that could simultaneously improve health and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. The report notes the rapid increase in engagement by the health community on climate change and health, and outlines priority actions to further support healthy and sustainable development.
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Heat-health action plans - guidance
Technical guidance
WHO, 2008
Climate change is leading to variations in weather patterns and an apparent increase in extreme weather events, including heat-waves. Recent heat-waves in the WHO European Region have led to a rise in related mortality but the adverse health effects of hot weather and heat-waves are largely preventable. Prevention requires a portfolio of actions at different levels, including meteorological early warning systems, timely public and medical advice, improvements to housing and urban planning and ensuring that health care and social systems are ready to act. These actions can be integrated into a defined heat–health action plan. This guidance results from the EuroHEAT project on improving public health responses to extreme weather/heat-waves, co-funded by WHO and the European Commission. It explains the importance of the development of heat–health action plans, their characteristics and core elements, with examples from several European countries that have begun their implementation and evaluation.
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Managing the linkages for sustainable development: a toolkit for decisions-makers
Technical report
UNEP/WHO, 2008
In response to the need for a more coherent policy agenda on health and environment, WHO and UNEP joined forces at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to launch the Health and Environment Linkages Initiative (HELI). Sponsored by the Government of Canada and supported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, HELI was designed to translate scientifi c knowledge into policy action. As a product of the partnership spirit of Johannesburg, HELI provides a concrete example of effective cooperation between UN institutions at international, regional and country levels. It harnesses the comparative advantages and capacities of WHO and UNEP for a greater United Nations system coherence.
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Climate change - quantifying the health impact at national and local levels
Technical guidance
WHO, 2007
The disease burden of a population, and how that burden is distributed, are important pieces of information for prioritizing and defining strategies to protect population health. For policy-makers, disease burden estimates provide an indication of the current and future health gains that could be achieved by targeted protection from specific risks. To help provide a reliable source of information for policy-makers, WHO has developed methods to analyse the impacts of risks for health, and has estimated the impacts of 26 risk factors worldwide, including climate change. The Environmental Burden of Disease (EBD) series aims at supporting countries to generate reliable information for policy-making, by presenting methods for estimating the environmental burden at national and regional levels. The introductory volume in the series outlines the general method, while subsequent volumes address specific environmental risk factors. The guides on specific risk factors are organized similarly, first outlining the evidence linking the risk factor to health, and then describing a method for estimating the health impact of that risk factor on the population. All the guides take a practical, step-by-step approach and use numerical examples. The methods described can be adapted both to regional and national levels, and can be tailored to suit data availability.
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Comparative risk assessment of the burden of disease from climate change
Journal paper
WHO, 2006
The World Health Organization has developed standardized comparative risk assessment methods for estimating aggregate disease burdens attributable to different risk factors. These have been applied to existing and new models for a range of climate-sensitive diseases in order to estimate the effect of global climate change on current disease burdens and likely proportional changes in the future. The comparative risk assessment approach has been used to assess the health consequences of climate change worldwide, to inform decisions on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and in a regional assessment of the Oceania region in the Pacific Ocean to provide more location-specific information relevant to local mitigation and adaptation decisions. The approach places climate change within the same criteria for epidemiologic assessment as other health risks and accounts for the size of the burden of climate-sensitive diseases rather than just proportional change, which highlights the importance of small proportional changes in diseases such as diarrhea and malnutrition that cause a large burden. These exercises help clarify important knowledge gaps such as a relatively poor understanding of the role of nonclimatic factors (socioeconomic and other) that may modify future climatic influences and a lack of empiric evidence and methods for quantifying more complex climate-health relationships, which consequently are often excluded from consideration. These exercises highlight the need for risk assessment frameworks that make the best use of traditional epidemiologic methods and that also fully consider the specific characteristics of climate change. These include the longterm and uncertain nature of the exposure and the effects on multiple physical and biotic systems that have the potential for diverse and widespread effects, including high-impact events.
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Using climate to predict infectious disease epidemics
Technical report
WHO, 2005
The increased accuracy of climate predictions, and improving understanding of interactions between weather and infectious disease, has motivated attempts to develop models to predict changes in the incidence of epidemic-prone infectious diseases. Such models are designed to provide early warning of impending epidemics which, if accurate, would be invaluable for epidemic preparedness and prevention. This document evaluates the potential of climate-based disease early warning as a means of improving preparedness for, and response to, epidemics. On the basis of the history of the development of early warning system (EWS) to date, the authors develop a conceptual framework for constructing and evaluating climate-based EWS. They identify the climate-sensitive diseases of major public health importance and review the current state of the art in climate-based modelling of these diseases, as well as future requirements and recommendations. It reviews the current state of development of EWS for a number of key infectious diseases. The last few years have seen rapid progress in research; many new studies have demonstrated significant associations between climate variability and infectious disease transmission, and have specifically highlighted the potential for developing climate-based EWS.
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Climate change and human health - risks and responses
Policy document
UNEP/WHO, 2003
Over the ages, human societies have altered local ecosystems and modified regional climates. Today the human influence has attained a global scale. This reflects the recent rapid increase in population size, energy consumption, intensity of land use, international trade and travel, and other human activities. These global changes have heightened awareness that the long-term good health of populations depends on the continued stability of biosphere's ecological, physical and socioeconomic systems. The world's climate system is an integral part of the complex of life-supporting processes. Like other large systems, the global climate system is coming under pressure from human activities. This book seeks to describe the context and process of global climate change, its actual or likely impacts on health, and how human societies and their governments should respond with particular focus on the health sector.
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Methods of assessing human health vulnerability and public health adaptation to climate change
Technical report
WHO in partnership with WMO, UNEP, 2003
Provides information on qualitative and quantitative methods of assessing human health vulnerability and public health adaptation to climate change. Objectives and the steps for assessing vulnerability and adaptation are described. For a range of health outcomes, methods are presented for evaluation of evidence that climate change could affect morbidity and mortality; projection of future impacts; and identification of adaptation strategies, policies, and measures to reduce current and future negative effects. The health outcomes considered are morbidity and mortality from heat and heat-waves, air pollution, floods and windstorms, and food insecurity; vector-borne diseases; water- and food-borne diarrheal diseases; and adverse health outcomes associated with stratospheric ozone depletion.
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Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health
Journal paper
The Lancet, 2015
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Fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Working Group II) Chapter 11. Human health: impacts, adaptation and co-benefits
Technical report
IPCC, 2014
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Accounting for health impacts of climate change
Technical report
ABD, 2011
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A human health perspective on climate change
Technical report
NIH, 2010
The purpose of this paper is to identify research needs for all aspects of the research-to-decision making pathway that will help us understand and mitigate the health effects of climate change as well as ensure that we choose the healthiest and most efficient approaches to climate change adaptation.
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Human health and climate change in Pacific Island countries
Technical report
WHO, 2015
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The health effects of climate change in the WHO European Region
Journal paper
WHO, 2015
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Third meeting of the Working Group on Health in Climate Change (HIC) of the European Environment and Health Task Force (EHTF) meeting report. 2 July 2014, Bonn, Germany
Technical report
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2014
The Working Group on Health in Climate Change (HIC) is an official part of the Environment and Health Process for Europe. The third meeting of the HIC analysed implementation of the Parma "Commitment to act" as well as the contribution to the 2014 Mid-term Review on climate change and health. The HIC also discussed contributions to other ongoing political processes such as the UNFCCC negotiations.
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Quantitative risk assessment of the effects of climate change on selected causes of death, 2030s and 2050s
Technical report
WHO, 2014
WHO releases a quantitative assessment of the health impacts of climate change. This constitutes an update and a further development of the assessment that was first published by WHO for the year 2000, now with a wider range of health impacts, and projections for future years. The assessment takes into account a subset of the possible health impacts, and assumes continued economic growth and health progress. Even under these conditions, it concludes that climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050; 38 000 due to heat exposure in elderly people, 48 000 due to diarrhoea, 60 000 due to malaria, and 95 000 due to childhood undernutrition. Results indicate that the burden of disease from climate change in the future will continue to fall mainly on children in developing countries, but that other population groups will be increasingly affected.
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Floods in the WHO European Region: health effects and their prevention
Technical report
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2013
In 2009–2011, the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the United Kingdom Health Protection Agency undertook a project to investigate the adverse health effects of floods and to understand how best to protect the health of populations during floods in the WHO European Region. The project had two main components. A questionnaire was sent to 50 of the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region to collect information on recent experience of floods, their health effects and current preparedness and response mechanisms. In addition, a systematic review was undertaken of the epidemiological literature on the global impact of flooding on health. Analysis of the returned questionnaires and the peer-reviewed literature brought to light many issues pertinent to Europe. These findings will help WHO to prepare evidence-based guidance for the European Region on health concerns before, during and after flooding incidents and the measures for prevention, response and recovery.
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Health and disaster risk reduction within the global framework for climate services
The User Interface Platform (UIP) of the global platform for climate services
Technical report
WHO, 2013
The meeting was organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), to extend partnerships and to develop recommendations for the implementation of the GFCS-UIP to address the needs of these communities of practice. The concept note for the meeting, identifying the objectives and specific outcomes expected from the discussions.
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Infectious diseases in a changing climate
Technical guidance
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2013
The frequency and distribution of many infectious diseases are changing under a changing climate. Recent outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya and West Nile virus in countries previously free from these diseases signal just some of the potential threats associated with changes in climate, trade, travel and the environment. This series of information sheets on infectious diseases in a changing climate aims to highlight current and future risks in countries of the WHO European Region, and to provide public health authorities with information on the scale of the problem and measures for prevention and response. Each information sheet is based on large systematic literature reviews and expert advice. Where WHO guidelines are available, this information is reproduced.
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Protecting health from climate change: a seven-country initiative in the eastern part of the WHO European Region
Technical guidance
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2013
This publication presents the results of a seven-country initiative of the WHO Regional Office for Europe aimed to protect health from climate change through addressing adaptation, strengthening health systems and building institutional capacity in Albania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Uzbekistan. This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (ICI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative based on a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.
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Mainstreaming gender in health adaptation to climate change programmes
User's guide
Training
WHO, 2012
This guide is targeted towards programme managers who work in climate change and health adaptation, and provides them with practical information and concrete guidance to mainstream gender throughout all four phases of the project cycle: identification, formulation and design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.
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Adaptation to climate change in Africa plan of action for the health sector 2012-2016
Policy document
WHO, 2012
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Taking into account health to enhance mitigation ambition
Policy document
WHO, 2012
This is a submission to the UNFCCC prepared by the WHO providing a summary of evidence and proposals for consideration with regards to the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation. The report presents potential health gains through mitigation, potential economic gains from health co-benefits, and opportunities for better linkage of climate and health goals.
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Public health advice on preventing health effects of heat
Technical guidance
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2011
The most important actions to take during a heat-wave are: to avoid or reduce exposure, to communicate risks effectively, to take particular care of vulnerable population groups and to manage mild and severe heat illness. This information package updates the set of 10 information sheets annexed to "Heat-health action plans" and provides advice for the general public, medical professionals and health services.
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The social dimensions of climate change
Discussion draft
Technical report
WHO, 2011
Climate change is arguably the most profound challenge facing the international community in the 21st century. It is as much a challenge for poverty reduction, growth, and development as it is a global environmental issue. Climate change could undermine or reverse progress in reducing poverty and attaining the Millennium Development Goals, thereby unraveling many of the development gains of recent decades. It already threatens the livelihoods, health, and well-being of millions of people worldwide, particularly the poorest, most vulnerable groups. This book focuses attention on these previously neglected and poorly understood social dimensions of climate change. It highlights equity and vulnerability as central organizing themes and illustrates the multiple ways that pro-poor climate policy and action should be integrated into existing approaches to poverty reduction and development—from the local to the global levels. This integration is needed both in terms of pro-poor approaches to climate change adaptation and in terms of better managing the social risks and potential benefits associated with measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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Climate change and health in Europe: opportunities for action in partnership
Technical report
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2010
Climate change puts at risk the protection and improvement of human health and the well-being of populations in the WHO European Region. More frequent extreme weather events and changes in the most fundamental prerequisites for good health (air, water, and food) affect health already today. Many of the impacts of climate change can be felt far beyond the locations in which they originally occur and create conflicts and competition for resources. Different policies at various levels have been identified within the European Regional Framework for Action (EUR/55934/6 Rev.1) and should be considered to address the challenges of climate change to health and the environment in Europe and to orient action at local and national levels.
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Climate change is affecting our health
Something should be done now
Training
WHO, 2009
The core concern is succinctly stated: Climate change endangers health in fundamental ways. The warming of the planet will be gradual, but the effects of extreme weather events – more storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves – will be abrupt and acutely felt. Both trends can affect some of the most fundamental determinants of health: air, water, food, shelter, and freedom from disease. This brochure presents six paintings, produced by the Italian painter Elisabetta Farina and commissioned by WHO are linked to a broader initiative named Art for Health aimed at using art work to support awareness-raising about the health consequences of climate change. It underlines the global impact making use of images of women from different regions speaking the six World Health Organization (WHO) official languages. It stresses the common agenda while underlining diversity of vulnerability. It points out that women are one of the groups vulnerable to the health consequences of climate change while recognizing their role as actors of change. The collection is part of a suite of other products and initiatives developed for a global advocacy and outreach campaign. Data on the present and expected impacts of climate change on health are provided alongside the different subjects and languages.
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Global climate change: implications for international health policy
Policy document
WHO, 2009
This is an article from WHO staff on global climate change and the various implications for international public health policy.
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Improving public health responses to extreme weather/heat-waves – EuroHEAT
Technical report
WHO, 2009
EuroHEAT, a project co-funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, aimed to improve public health responses to weather extremes and to heat-waves in particular. Climate change is projected to lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including heat-waves. In the European cities analysed in the EuroHEAT project, the estimated excess mortality ranged from 7.6% to 33.6% during heat-wave episodes. Long and intense heat-waves have the most severe health effects. There is growing evidence from EuroHEAT that the effects of heat-wave days on mortality are greater, particularly among the elderly, when levels of ozone or particulate matter are high. A wide range of chronic diseases and medical treatments, social isolation and some types of occupation increase the risk of heat stress in individuals. In European cities, the elderly suffer the greatest effects of heat-waves. Across Europe, housing and socioeconomic conditions showed varying influence on the impacts of heat on health. On the basis of the results generated by the EuroHEAT project, two tools for public health interventions were developed: the web-based climate information support tool and the guidance for heat–health action plans. This document summarizes the overall project results.
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Suggestions for addressing development and social issues, in particular employment and incomes, food and agriculture, gender equality, health and development to the UNFCCC AWG-LCA
Policy document
WHO in partnership with ILO, FAO, UNIFEM, 2009
Joint Submission for the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) which welcome the opportunity to express suggestions in the framework of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) related to development and social issues, in particular on employment and incomes, food and agriculture, gender equality, health and development. Collectively and individually our organizations are available to assist parties in their endeavour to make informed decisions.
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Suggestions for protecting health from climate change to the UNFCCC AWG-LCA
Policy document
WHO, 2009
Submission for the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) by the World Health Organization (WHO) which welcomes the opportunity to express suggestions in the framework of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) related to health issues. Climate sensitive risk factors and illnesses are currently among the most important contributors to the global burden of disease; these include undernutrition (estimated to kill 3.5 million people per year), diarrhoea (2.2 million) and malaria (0.9 million). These and other health outcomes will be increasingly affected by accelerating climate change, through its adverse effects on food production and food security, water availability and the population dynamics of vectors and pathogens.
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Suggestions for protecting the health of vulnerable people from the humanitarian consequences of climate change and climate related events to the UNFCCC AWG-LCA
Policy document
WHO in partnership with World Vision, IOM, IFRC, 2009
The health and humanitarian dimensions of climate change are among the ultimate justifications for taking action on climate change and these are closely interlinked. Humanitarian assistance provides a strong health imperative to save lives and alleviate the suffering of crisis affected populations. Climate change mitigation and adaptation, in particular, are important for the protection of health of vulnerable populations from both sudden and slow onset climate-related emergencies. The aim of the paper is twofold: first, it documents the range of risks that climate change poses to human health associated with humanitarian emergencies, and secondly, it proposes policy directions to manage the health humanitarian impact of climate change for consideration by the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC, the health sector and by the humanitarian community.
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WHO carbon footprint report
Technical report
WHO, 2009
Environmental Resources Management Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd (ERM) was commissioned to support the World Health Organization (WHO) in the development of a global framework to facilitate the reduction of the carbon footprint and total environmental impact of its offices and operations globally. This study makes use of the carbon footprint calculators developed by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). This includes both the UN Carbon Footprint Calculator as well as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Flight Calculator. This study covers carbon emissions that arise due to activities under the direct operational control of WHO. This includes emissions over which the organisation’s offices have influence as well as various, but not all, indirect carbon emissions that arise due to its activities: vehicle use; power generation; refrigeration / air conditioning; purchased electricity; purchased heat / steam; and air, road and rail business travel.
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Climate change and health. Report by the secretariat.
Policy document
WHO, 2008
Climate change will affect, in profoundly adverse ways, some of the most fundamental determinants of health: food, air and water. The warming of the planet will be gradual, but the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as intense storms, heat waves, droughts and floods, will be abrupt and the consequences will be acutely felt. The earliest and most severe threats are to developing countries, with negative implications for the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals and for health equity. It is therefore essential to formulate a clear response in order to protect human health and ensure that it is placed at the centre of the climate debate.
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Heat-health action plans
Technical report
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2008
Climate change is leading to variations in weather patterns and an apparent increase in extreme weather events, including heat-waves. Recent heat-waves in the WHO European Region have led to a rise in related mortality but the adverse health effects of hot weather and heat-waves are largely preventable. Prevention requires a portfolio of actions at different levels, including meteorological early warning systems, timely public and medical advice, improvements to housing and urban planning and ensuring that health care and social systems are ready to act. These actions can be integrated into a defined heat–health action plan. This guidance results from the EuroHEAT project on improving public health responses to extreme weather/heat-waves, co-funded by WHO and the European Commission. It explains the importance of the development of heat–health action plans, their characteristics and core elements, with examples from several European countries that have begun their implementation and evaluation.
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How is climate change affecting our health: manual for students and their families
Training
WHO, 2008
Climate change is often associated with ecosystem destruction and disappearing species. This is all true, but climate change affects our lives in a more direct way: our health. Unfortunately, the impact of climate change on human health isn’t generally acknowledged. The fact that human-made changes in climate affect human health, in an indirect or direct way, needs to be disseminated among our communities, particularly among the youth who hold in their hands the power to change the future. This manual is an attempt to sensitize growing adults about the importance of the linkages between climate change and human health. The students will learn the reasons behind the changes going on, how they affect each one of us in one way or other, the current and future effects and how we can respond to them. The complete resource material consists of two manuals: one for teachers and one for students. The teachers’ manual is a training resource to support spreading the information via interactive classroom activities. The student’s manual is for them to take home, study and share information about climate change and its impact on human health with their families.
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How is climate change affecting our health: manual for teachers
Training
WHO, 2008
Climate change is often associated with ecosystem destruction and disappearing species. This is all true, but climate change affects our lives in a more direct way: our health. Unfortunately, the impact of climate change on human health isn’t generally acknowledged. The fact that human-made changes in climate affect human health, in an indirect or direct way, needs to be disseminated among our communities, particularly among the youth who hold in their hands the power to change the future. This manual is an attempt to sensitize growing adults about the importance of the linkages between climate change and human health. The students will learn the reasons behind the changes going on, how they affect each one of us in one way or other, the current and future effects and how we can respond to them. The complete resource material consists of two manuals: one for teachers and one for students. The teachers’ manual is a training resource to support spreading the information via interactive classroom activities. The student’s manual is for them to take home, study and share information about climate change and its impact on human health with their families.
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Protecting health in Europe from climate change
Technical report
WHO, 2008
There is now scientific consensus that climate change affects health through changing weather patterns (for example, more intense and frequent extreme events) and indirectly through changes in water, air, food quality and quantity, ecosystems, agriculture, livelihoods and infrastructure. The effects will be unevenly distributed, and the people at greatest risk include the poor, very young, elderly and/or ill. Climate change can also pose a threat to health security. Failure to respond could be very costly in terms of disease, health care expenditure and lost productivity. This publication intends to stimulate debate and support an active response by providing up-to-date information on the health effects of climate change, as well as practical guidance on specific actions that decision-makers at different levels in health and other sectors can take now. As long as climate change is not too rapid or strong, many of the health effects can be controlled by strengthening health systems. This can include strengthening preparedness, public health services and health security, advocating action in other sectors to benefit health, better informing citizens and leading by example. Health systems need to strengthen their capacity to assess potential climate-related health effects, to review their capacities to cope, and develop and implement adaptation and mitigation strategies, and to strengthen a range of key areas of work – from disease surveillance and control to disaster risk reduction – that are essential for rapid detection of and action against climate-related risks.
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The health impacts of climate change in Asia-Pacific
Technical report
WHO, 2008
Climate change threatens human health. A report from The Lancet, the world’s leading general medical journal, declared climate change as "the biggest global health threat of the 21st century". While climate change affects the world over, the Asia-Pacific region stands particularly vulnerable to its adverse consequences where more than half (or 56%) of the world’s estimated 7 billion population and nearly two-thirds of the world’s poor live. In the 1990s, Asia-Pacific accounted for 32% of global extreme climatic events, 84% of deaths caused by such events and 88% of people affected worldwide. Women are "the most vulnerable to climate change" and its negative health consequences in developing countries. It is estimated that the mortality risk of women during disasters is 14 times higher than that of men. Poor women, who constitute the majority of the poor in the Asia-Pacific region, are particularly vulnerable to climatesensitive health risks. This paper explores available data on the observed and projected linkages between climate change and health in the Asia-Pacific region. It highlights key health risks and vulnerabilities due to climate change and extreme climatic events, including infectious diseases, injuries, and other morbidities. Particular health vulnerabilities of women and girls to climate change impacts, along with other vulnerable populations, are also examined.
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Climate change and developing country cities: implications for environmental health and equity
Journal paper
WHO, 2007
Climate change is an emerging threat to global public health. It is also highly inequitable, as the greatest risks are to the poorest populations, who have contributed least to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The rapid economic development and the concurrent urbanization of poorer countries mean that developing-country cities will be both vulnerable to health hazards from climate change and, simultaneously, an increasing contributor to the problem. We review the specific health vulnerabilities of urban populations in developing countries and highlight the range of large direct health effects of energy policies that are concentrated in urban areas. Common vulnerability factors include coastal location, exposure to the urban heat-island effect, high levels of outdoor and indoor air pollution, high population density, and poor sanitation. There are clear opportunities for simultaneously improving health and cutting GHG emissions most obviously through policies related to transport systems, urban planning, building regulations and household energy supply. These influence some of the largest current global health burdens, including approximately 800,000 annual deaths from ambient urban air pollution, 1.2 million from road-traffic accidents, 1.9 million from physical inactivity, and 1.5 million per year from indoor air pollution. GHG emissions and health protection in developing-country cities are likely to become increasingly prominent in policy development. There is a need for a more active input from the health sector to ensure that development and health policies contribute to a preventive approach to local and global environmental sustainability, urban population health, and health equity.
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Environment and health risks from climate change and variability in Italy
Technical report
WHO, 2007
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Italian Agency for Environmental Protection and Technical Services (Agenzia per la Protezione dell' Ambiente er per i servizi Technici, APAT) are collaborating in a project on climate change and health. This report is one of the results of that project. Climate change is already having an effect in Italy, as elsewhere. The global effects of an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are reflected in the growing number of extreme weather events, such as heat-waves and intense rainfall. These have various consequences for the health of a population, both directly in terms of mortality and morbidity, and indirectly through changes in the ecosystem. As there has been, as yet, no systematic national climate change impact assessment in Italy, this report is a preliminary evaluation of the situation, using international and national literature and with the help of expert advice. The aim is to assess the potential risks of climate change to human health in Italy, to see what adaptive and preventive measures are available and to suggest what may be additionally needed.
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Environmental change and infectious diseases
Technical report
WHO, 2007
This report presents the key findings and discussions from a meeting organised by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO EURO), the European Environment Agency (EEA), and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) at Ispra. The aim of the meeting was to review evidence related to the implications of global climate and ecological change on the communicable disease burden of Europe, assess the preparedness of health systems, develop scientific advice, identify research needs, and make recommendations to Member States.
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Heat waves, floods and the health impacts of climate change. A prototype training workshop for city health officials
Training
WHO, 2007
This training package, which targets city officials as its primary users, aims to help develop competencies in these three areas. It contains reading materials, as well as a guide for study. The package is designed to accompany a workshop, but it can also be used for self-paced learning in a less structured setting. After going through this training programme, the learner will be able to develop action plans at the city level to address the health impacts of climate change. The learner will also be able to draft resolutions that city councils and leaders can adopt in support of these actions.
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National climate change and health workshop report – Bangladesh
Technical report
WHO in partnership with BCAS, 2007
Taking into account the importance of the linkage between climate change and health issues, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in association with the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) organized a workshop on Climate Change and Health in Dhaka on November 19-20, 2007. The workshop was attended by representatives from various organizations working on climate change and public health issues and academicians.
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National climate change and health workshop report – Indonesia
Technical report
WHO, 2007
Participants of the regional workshop on climate change and human health, held in Bali, Indonesia from 10 to 12 December 2007, officially representing the governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Malaysia, Maldives, the Federal States of Micronesia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Palau, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tonga and Vanuatu, jointly developed a regional framework to guide regional and national action towards reducing the potential burden of disease linked to the effects of global warming and climate change.
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National climate change and health workshop report – Nepal
Technical report
WHO, 2007
Sixty-five representatives of Health, Environment, Meteorology, Water Supply, Agriculture and academic institutions participated in a consultation workshop to debate the effects that climate change may have on health in Nepal. The workshop was organized by the Nepal Health Research Council and financially supported by WHO as part of its efforts to raise the capacity of member-states in this technical area. Presentations were made by all sectors involved. It was clear that a lot of work has already been done in Nepal to determine the consequences of Climate Change on health.
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Towards health security
Technical report
WHO, 2007
This discussion paper examines recent threats to health security in the WHO European Region from communicable diseases, natural disasters, large-scale accidents, conflicts and complex emergencies and the potential future challenges from climate change. It reviews the lessons learned from past experience, the new framework offered by the revised International Health Regulations (2005), the need for strengthening health systems to manage crises and the importance of international partnerships for health security
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Climate change and adaptation strategies for human health
Technical guidance
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2006
The book represents the results of the cCASHh study that was carried out in Europe (2001-2004), co-ordinated by WHO and supported by EU Programmes. The flood events in 2002 and the heat wave of August 2003 in Europe had given evidence in a rather drastic way of our vulnerability and our non preparedness. The project has produced very important results that show that the concurrent work of different disciplines in addressing public health issues can produce innovative and useful results, providing an approach that can be followed on other public health issues. The project has shown that information on potential threats can be extremely useful in preparing the public for adverse events as well as facilitating the response when the events occur. This is a new dimension for public health which reverses the traditional thinking: from identifying and reducing specific risk factors, to taking action on the basis of prediction and early warning to prevent health consequences in large populations.
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Lyme borreliosis in Europe: influences of climate and climate change, epidemiology, ecology and adaptation measures
Technical report
WHO, 2006
This publication reviews the impacts of climate change on Lyme borreliosis in Europe. Although it is treatable with antibiotics, it is the most common vector-borne disease in the Region and may lead to severe complications of the neurological system, the heart, and the joints. It is caused by a spirochete, which is transmitted to humans by ticks whose reservoir animals are small rodents, insectivores, hares and birds. Ticks are highly sensitive to changes in seasonal climate. Since the 1980s, tick vectors have increased in density and spread into higher latitudes and altitudes in Europe. Future climate change in Europe is therefore likely to facilitate the spread of Lyme borreliosis in the same way, while reducing its occurrence in areas that become hotter and drier. To counteract this threat, preventive measures such as information for the general public, surveillance activities and standardized methods of collecting data all need to be strengthened.
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Climate variability and change and their health effects in small island states: information for adaptation planning in the health sector
Technical report
WHO in partnership with WMO, UNEP, 2005
Small island states are the countries likely to be most vulnerable to climate variability and long-term climate change, particularly extreme weather and climate events (such as cyclones, floods and droughts) and sea-level rise. Many small island states share characteristics that increase their vulnerability, these include their small sizes, isolation, limited fresh water and other natural resources, fragile economies, often dense populations, poorly developed infrastructures and limited financial and human resources. To understand better the potential health impacts of climate variability and change in small island states and to build capacity to cope with climate change through adaptation planning, a series of workshops and a conference were organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)(WHO 2000; Aron et al. 2003; WHO 2003). This reportsynthesizes the information presented and identifies key recommendations for improving the health sector’s capacity to anticipate and prepare for climate variability and change.
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Ecosystems and human well-being: a health synthesis
Technical report
WHO, 2005
This report synthesizes the findings from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's (MA) global and sub-global assessments of how ecosystem changes do, or could, affect human health and well-being. All the MA authors and review editors have contributed to this report through their contributions to the underlying assessment chapters on which this text is based.
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Extreme weather events and public health responses
Technical report
WHO, 2005
Recent catastrophic heat waves and floods raise the question: are extreme weather events becoming more frequent? And if so, what should be done about them? This book presents a collection of case studies and experiences of experts, ministries and international organizations, on such topics as: will climate change alter climate variability? the 2003 European heat-wave, the health impacts of temperature extremes, public health responses to temperature extremes, the health impacts of floods, case studies on health system responses to extreme events. It also makes recommendations on public health and environmental responses to weather and climate extremes.
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Health and climate change: the now and how. A policy action guide.
Policy document
WHO, 2005
This document presents a brief summary of the results of the research project "Climate change and adaptation strategies for human health in Europe" (cCASHh) (May 2001-July 2004), coordinated by WHO and supported by the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme in the frame of the Fifth European Union Framework Programme for Research and Development. Current climate trends point to the likelihood that southern Europe will become drier in the future, while northern Europe is likely to become warmer and wetter. Extreme events are expected to increase in frequency and severity, particularly heat-waves, droughts and intense rainfall events. cCASHh identified a range of options that have been taken or could be taken by European policy-makers to prevent, prepare and respond to the effects of weather and climate variability on people’s health. These measures are classified into general and specific. General measures include better cooperation between health and climate institutions, building capacity for action now and communication. The specific measures include information for the prevention of health effects from heat stress, floods, vector, rodent and food borne diseases.
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Global climate change. Chapter in Ezzati et al, Comparative quantification of health risks
Technical guidance
WHO, 2004
The Comparative quantification of health risks provides a comprehensive assessment of the prevalence and the resulting health effects of a range of exposures that are known to be hazardous to human health. This two-volume book describes the burden of regional and global disease, disability and death in 2000 that can be attributed to 26 major risks to human health. It also shows how much this burden can be lowered in the next 20 years if the same risk factors were reduced.
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Heat-waves: risks and responses
Technical report
WHO, 2004
High air temperatures can affect human health and lead to additional deaths even under current climatic conditions. Heat waves occur infrequently in Europe and can significantly affect human health, as witnessed in summer 2003. This report reviews the current knowledge about the effects of heat-waves, including the physiological aspects of heat illness and epidemiological studies on excess mortality, and makes recommendations for preventive action. Measures for reducing heat-related mortality and morbidity include heat health-warning systems and appropriate urban planning and housing design.
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Synthesis workshop on climate variability, climate change and health in small island states, Bandos Island Resort, Maldives
Technical report
WHO in partnership with WMO, UNEP, 2004
The Synthesis Workshop on Climate Variability, Climate Change and Health in Small-Island States was conducted on Bandos Island Resort, Maldives, from 1 – 4 December 2003. Specific goals of the Synthesis Workshop included: to inform health scientists, practitioners, and officials of the impacts of climate variability, and long-term climate change in the Indian Ocean, Pacific, Caribbean and other regions; to address vulnerability assessment and adaptation options for Small Island Countries; to address findings and proposed actions as discussed in previous workshops in the Pacific and the Caribbean, with regard to: integration of health-relevant sectors (e.g., water resources, agriculture and fisheries); introduction of strategies in coastal zone management as they relate to sewage disposal and other health issues; fostering joint interdisciplinary research projects among local participants, as well as developed/developing nation scientist partnerships. Summarize conclusions and recommendations for common actions and activities for Small Island States and vulnerable islands in general.
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Climate change and human health: impact and adaptation
Policy document
WHO, 2000
Health is a focus reflecting the combined impacts of climate change on the physical environment, ecosystems, the economic environment and society. Long-term changes in world climate may affect many requisites of good health – sufficient food, safe and adequate drinking water, and secure dwelling. The current large-scale social and environmental changes mean that we must assign a much higher priority to population health in the policy debate on climate change.
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Climate variability and change and their health effects in Pacific island countries
Technical report
WHO, 2000
The Workshop on Climate Variability and Change and their Health Effects in Pacific Island Countries was conducted in Apia, Samoa, from 25 to 28 July 2000. The objectives of the workshop were: to review and share the experiences of the impacts of climate variability (e.g. El Niño Southern Oscillation – ENSO), and long-term climate change in the Pacific island region; to learn about available tools on the Internet for ENSO and other climate predictions useful for early warning, and for ongoing research on early warning for protection of human health; to acquire basic understanding the linkages between climate change and health; the tools available for predicting the nature and extent of climate change and the associated adverse impacts on health; and the measures that can mitigate these adverse impacts; to develop plans for sustainable future activities; and to prepare recommendations to be reported at a policy-makers' forum.
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Global climate change and children's health
Journal paper
American Academy of Pediatrics, 2015
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Health impacts of climate change in Pacific island countries: a regional assessment of vulnerabilities and adaptation priorities
Journal paper
Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015
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Climate, environmental and socio-economic change: weighing up the balance in vector-borne disease transmission
Journal paper
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 2015
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Climate change and vector-borne diseases: What are the implications for public health research and policy
Journal paper
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 2015
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An evidence-based public health approach to climate change adaptation
Journal paper
CDC, 2014
Public health is committed to evidence-based practice, yet there has been minimal discussion of how to apply an evidence-based practice framework to climate change adaptation. Our goal was to review the literature on evidence-based public health (EBPH), to determine whether it can be applied to climate change adaptation, and to consider how emphasizing evidence-based practice may influence research and practice decisions related to public health adaptation to climate change. We conducted a substantive review of EBPH, identified a consensus EBPH framework, and modified it to support an EBPH approach to climate change adaptation. We applied the framework to an example and considered implications for stakeholders.
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Building resilience against climate effects: a novel framework to facilitate climate readiness in public health agencies
Journal paper
CDC, 2014
Climate change is anticipated to have several adverse health impacts. Managing these risks to public health requires an iterative approach. As with many risk management strategies related to climate change, using modeling to project impacts, engaging a wide range of stakeholders, and regularly updating models and risk management plans with new information—hallmarks of adaptive management—are considered central tenets of effective public health adaptation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a framework, entitled Building Resilience Against Climate Effects, or BRACE, to facilitate this process for public health agencies. Its five steps are laid out here. Following the steps laid out in BRACE will enable an agency to use the best available science to project likely climate change health impacts in a given jurisdiction and prioritize interventions. Adopting BRACE will also reinforce public health’s established commitment to evidence-based practice and institutional learning, both of which will be central to successfully engaging the significant new challenges that climate change presents.
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Chapter 17: Southeast and the Caribbean. Climate change impacts in the United States: the third national climate assessment
Technical report
U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2014
The National Climate Assessment assesses the science of climate change and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century. It documents climate change related impacts and responses for various sectors and regions, with the goal of better informing public and private decision-making at all levels.
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Climate change and human health: NASA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaboration
Journal paper
NASA, CDC, 2014
In collaboration with NASA scientists, CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network and its network of state and academic public health partners has developed and is enhancing a ‘Climate Change Portal’ of health surveillance and analysis tools that leverage the strengths of NLDAS (North American Land Data Assimilation System), a NASA meteorological data-set, to help forecast population health risks. NLDAS is derived by spatial and temporal interpolation of the coarser (3-hourly, ?32 km) North American Regional Reanalysis grid, a tool to assess recent climate conditions at excellent temporal and spatial resolutions (hourly and at a grid of ?12 km.)
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Climate models and the use of climate projections: a brief overview for health departments
Technical guidance
CDC, 2014
When assessing and preparing for the human health effects of climate change, public health practitioners will likely need to access climatological information. Projected climate data, such as future temperature and precipitation, can be used to assess vulnerability and project disease burden. However, state and local health departments often do not have the capacity to utilize climate data or climate projections. This document provides a definition for climate outlooks and climate models and describes particular outlooks and models that may be useful in anticipating the human health effects of climate change. It also includes a topic overview and some suggested initial methods for state and local health departments. This guidance is in accordance with Step 1 of CDC’s Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework.
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A health impact assessment framework for assessing vulnerability and adaptation planning for climate change
Journal paper
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2014
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Health care facilities resilient to climate change impacts
Journal paper
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2014
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Systematic review on methodology: time series regression analysis for environmental factors and infectious diseases
Journal paper
Tropical Medicine and Health, 2014
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Climate change and health modeling: horses for courses
Journal paper
Global Health Action, 2014
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Developing climate change environmental public health indicators: guidance for local health departments
Training
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, 2013
Climate change EPHI frameworks have been developed at the state level by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ (CSTE) State Environmental Health Indicators Collaborative (SEHIC) (available at: http://www.cste.org/?page=EHIndicatorsClimate) and at the federal level by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Environmental Health Tracking Network (NEHTN) (available at: http://ephtracking.cdc.gov). The purpose of this guidance document is to help LHDs leverage existing resources such as the SEHIC and NEHTN climate change indicators for use at the local level.
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A multi-layered governance framework for incorporating social science insights into adapting to the health impacts of climate change
Journal paper
Global Health Action, 2013
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Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012
EEA, 2012
This European Environment Agency (EEA) report presents information on past and projected climate change and related impacts in Europe, based on a range of indicators. The report also assesses the vulnerability of society, human health and ecosystems in Europe and identifies those regions in Europe most at risk from climate change. Furthermore, the report discusses the principle sources of uncertainty for the indicators and notes how monitoring and scenario development can improve our understanding of climate change, its impacts and related vulnerabilities.
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CGE training materials for vulnerability and adaptation assessment: Human health
Training
UNFCCC, 2011
The training materials below are designed to facilitate the preparation of national communications (NCs) by non-Annex I Parties in accordance with the guidelines of the Conventions (decision 17/CP.8). They are not intended to replace any of the methodologies or tools referred to or mentioned in in the modules. For further detail and explanation, the reader is therefore always encouraged to go back to the original documents or tools referred to in the text.
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Climate change and health across Africa: issues and options
Technical report
UNECA-ACPC, 2011
This working paper lays out the current state of knowledge regarding direct and indirect impacts of environmental factors on health across Africa. While there are many uncertainties in magnitudes of climate change, particularly with timing, the existing literature makes interesting observations about potential health impacts and the populations that could be most at risk. The working paper presents the potential impacts climate change may have on human health and analyses the various direct and indirect impacts that climate change will have on African populations. Due to the emerging nature of the issue and literature, there are many gaps in knowledge on the impacts climate change will have on human health.
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Impacts of climate change on public health in India: future research directions
Journal paper
Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011
Climate change and associated increases in climate variability will likely further exacerbate global health disparities. More research is needed, particularly in developing countries, to accurately predict the anticipated impacts and inform effective interventions. Building on the information presented at the 2009 Joint Indo-U.S. Workshop on Climate Change and Health in Goa, India, we reviewed relevant literature and data, addressed gaps in knowledge, and identified priorities and strategies for future research in India.
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Integrating climate change adaptation into public health practice: using adaptive management to increase adaptive capacity and build resilience
Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011
Climate change is expected to have a range of health impacts, some of which are already apparent. Public health adaptation is imperative, but there has been little discussion of how to increase adaptive capacity and resilience in public health systems. We explored possible explanations for the lack of work on adaptive capacity, outline climate-health challenges that may lie outside public health's coping range, and consider changes in practice that could increase public health's adaptive capacity. We conducted a substantive, interdisciplinary literature review focused on climate change adaptation in public health, social learning, and management of socioeconomic systems exhibiting dynamic complexity.
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Climate change: present and future risks to health, and necessary responses
Journal paper
Journal of Internal Medicine, 2011
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Development and climate change
Technical report
World Bank, 2010
As a multilateral institution whose mission is inclusive and sustainable development, the World Bank Group has a responsibility to try to explain some of those interconnections across discipline —development economics, science, energy, ecology, technology, finance, and effective international regimes and governance. With 186 members, the World Bank Group faces the challenge, every day, of building cooperation among vastly different states, the private sector, and civil society to achieve common goods. This 32nd World Development Report seeks to apply that experience, combined with research, to advance knowledge about Development and Climate Change
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When every drop counts: protecting public health during drought conditions – a guide for public health professionals
Technical report
CDC, 2010
Drought is a natural phenomenon. During a drought, rainfall levels or other precipitation types are lower than average for an extended period, resulting in an inadequate water supply. Although the literature contains many well-researched articles on the aspects and implications of drought itself, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes much is yet to be learned about how drought affects public health in the United States. With regard to drought preparedness and response, public health experts at all levels operate today with only limited guidance. With regard to how water shortages affect public health at the community level, overall understanding is less than optimal. In response, CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) developed When Every Drop Counts: Protecting Public Health During Drought Conditions—A Guide for Public Health Professionals. This publication is intended to assist public health officials, practitioners, and other stakeholders in their efforts first to understand and then to prepare for drought in their communities. It provides information about how drought affects public health, recommends steps to help mitigate the health effects of drought, identifies future needs for research and other drought related activities, and provides a list of helpful resources and tools.
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Global climate change and child health: A review of pathways, impacts and measures to improve the evidence base
Technical report
UNICEF, WHO, 2009
This paper reviews the published evidence of pathways and impacts of global climate change on child health. The review was occasioned by the recognition that most of the work to date on climate change and health lacks clear focus on the children's dimension, while the climate change and children literature tends to be brief or imprecise on the complex health aspects.
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South Asia: shared view on development and climate change, chapter 9: the health sector
World Bank, 2009
The World Bank is to support the development priorities of countries in South Asia by addressing climate change related risks and harnessing development opportunities that promote low-carbon growth, says a new report - Shared Views on Development and Climate Change, released ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
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The health impact of extreme weather events in Sub-Saharan Africa
Technical report
World Bank, 2009
Extreme weather events are known to have serious consequences for human health and are predicted to increase in frequency as a result of climate change. Africa is one of the regions that risks being most seriously affected. This paper quantifies the impact of extreme rainfall and temperature events on the incidence of diarrhea, malnutrition and mortality in young children in Sub-Saharan Africa. The panel data set is constructed from Demographic and Health Surveys for 108 regions from 19 Sub-Saharan African countries between 1992 and 2001 and climate data from the Africa Rainfall and Temperature Evaluation System from 1980 to 2001. The results show that both excess rainfall and extreme temperatures significantly raise the incidence of diarrhea and weight-for-height malnutrition among children under the age of three, but have little impact on the long-term health indicators, including height-for-age malnutrition and the under-five mortality rate. The authors use the results to simulate the additional health cost as a proportion of gross domestic product caused by increased climate variability. The projected health cost of increased diarrhea attributable to climate change in 2020 is in the range of 0.2 to 0.5 percent of gross domestic product in Africa.
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Analysis of the effects of global change on human health and welfare and human systems
Technical report
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008
The report discusses the challenges and potential effects of climate change, including unusual or unexpected weather, and how some individuals and communities may be disproportionately affected by climate change, including the elderly, the poor, children, and people with chronic medical conditions. However, the U.S. has well-developed public health infrastructures and environmental programs that protect our air and water, which can help minimize the impacts.
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Climate change and children, a human security challenge
Technical report
UNICEF, 2008
The study reviews the implications of climate change for children and future generations, drawing on relevant experiences in different sectors and countries of promoting child rights and well-being. It traces in considerable detail the pathways through which shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns create serious additional barriers to the achievement of the child survival, development and protection goals embraced by the international community. The role of children as vital participants and agents of change emerges as a key theme.
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Climate change and extreme heat events
Technical report
CDC, 2008
This document describes extreme heat events, how an extreme heat event threatens public health, and how to prepare for and respond to such an event. It explains how the frequency, duration, and severity of extreme heat events are increasing as a result of climate change, and includes links to local programs and real-world examples from across the country.
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Climate change: impacts on and implications for global health
Journal paper
CDC, 2008
The most severe consequences of climate change will accrue to the poorest people in the poorest countries, despite their own negligible contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, global health efforts in those same countries have grown dramatically. However, the emerging scientific consensus about climate change has not yet had much influence on the routine practice and strategies of global health. We review here the anticipated types and global distribution of health impacts of climate change, discuss relevant aspects of current global interventions for health in low-income countries, and consider potential elements of a framework for appropriately and efficiently mainstreaming global climate change–mitigation and –adaptation strategies into the ongoing enterprise of global health.
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Climate change: the public health response
Journal paper
CDC, 2007
There is scientific consensus that the global climate is changing, with rising surface temperatures, melting ice and snow, rising sea levels, and increasing climate variability. These changes are expected to have substantial impacts on human health. There are known, effective public health responses for many of these impacts, but the scope, timeline, and complexity of climate change are unprecedented. We propose a public health approach to climate change, based on the essential public health services, that extends to both clinical and population health services and emphasizes the coordination of government agencies (federal, state, and local), academia, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations.
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Climate change & infectious diseases in India: implications for health care providers
Technical guidance
CDC, 2003
Climate change has the potential to influence the earth's biological systems, however, its effects on human health are not well defined. Developing nations with limited resources are expected to face a host of health effects due to climate change, including vector-borne and water-borne diseases such as malaria, cholera, and dengue. This article reviews common and prevalent infectious diseases in India, their links to climate change, and how health care providers might discuss preventive health care strategies with their patients.

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