Public health, social and environmental determinants of health (PHE)

7 million deaths annually linked to air pollution

In new estimates released, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died - one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

Moving towards a climate neutral UN

The most recent analysis of the UN's performance in implementing the UN's Climate Neutral Strategy. The report includes the details of the greenhouse gas emissions for 64 organisations in 2012, as well as a breakdown of emissions by source. The brochure and poster showcase some of the efforts that have gone on around the UN System to reduce emissions and explains the next steps. There is an opening message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. This report is the first and last word in the UN's sustainability performance to date.

Meeting of the Executive Board

The Executive Board is meeting 20-25 January. The main functions of the Executive Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, advise it and generally to facilitate its work. The Executive Board also provides reports on various aspects of the functioning of the Organization to the Health Assembly for its consideration. The video (left) shows some of the ways who tells the story of how the organization supports, protects and promotes longer, healthier, happier lives for all of us.

Health through a better environment

Environmental hazards are responsible for as much as a quarter of the total burden of disease world-wide, and more than one-third of the burden among children. Heading that list are diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, various forms of unintentional injuries and malaria. The disease burden is much higher in the developing world, although in the case of certain non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancers, the per capita disease burden is larger in developed countries. Health impacts of environmental hazards run across more than 80 diseases and types of injury.
Well-targeted interventions can prevent much of this environmental risk.
Worldwide, as many as 13 million deaths could be prevented every year by making our environments healthier.

In focus