Health

How can the EU minimise the health impacts of climate change?

By - Integrated Care Journal

How can the EU minimise the health impacts of climate change?

Climate change is impacting people’s health in regions all around the globe, and Europe is no exception.

In fact, Europe is one of the most vulnerable regions to extreme heat. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the 2003 heatwaves caused more than 70,000 deaths. Experts have for long argue that, because of climate change, the intensity and frequency of heatwaves will increase in the future. Extreme heat is only one of the impacts that climate change is having on people’s health in the EU.

The third webinar of the Environment and Health Series focused on what it can be done to minimise the health implications of climate change in the EU. Chair of the session Seb Dance, former Labour MEP and now Deputy Chair of Environment, Climate and Health at PPP, was joined by Jan Semenza, Head of the Health Determinants Programme, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Dr Marina Romanello, Data Scientist at the Lancet Countdown.

Semenza focused his presentation on one of the aspects in which climate change is impacting people’s health in EU: infectious diseases. He highlighted how climate change represents one of main drivers behind the emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases in the EU. Finally, Semenza touched upon ECDC’s commitment to act proactively to prevent and minimise the health impacts of several infectious diseases.

Dr Romanello took a broader approach pointing out the various health risks of climate change while presenting the Lancet’s findings of the recently published report Responding to the health risks of climate change in Europe. She also introduced another concept which she has defined as “crucially important” - the core benefits of climate change mitigation.


Highlights of the webinar "Minimising the health implications of climate change in the EU"

 

 

 

“Starting to understand that climate change is affecting health and the future of our children and not only polar bears in 2100, I think is key to that awareness and understanding. ”

Dr Marina Romanello, Data Scientist at the Lancet Countdown

 

 

“I would urge to invest a lot of money into a cost benefit analysis, because once we see how much pollution costs, if we can convince government that it's a good investment financially to act on climate change and pollution, then action will be taken. ”

Jan Semenza, Head of the Health Determinants Programme, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

 

To read the latest news on the Environment & Health series, click here


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