We must put health at the centre of climate change discussions
By Integrated Care Journal-
Climate change is not only about melting ice or biodiversity loss, it also poses a major threat to people’s health. Although discourse on climate change has intensified in recent years, the direct health implications of climate change are still largely underreported.
A new programme of works from Public Policy Projects (PPP) and Integrated Care Journal is seeking to remedy this and cast a spotlight on the emerging links between a changing climate and health. This framework will deliver six thought-leadership features and an extended webinar series, bringing together experts from the health and environment sectors, government and wider industry stakeholders.
Health should be at the very centre of our thinking about climate change and climate actions. This was the core message of the Environment Health webinar launch: "The climate crisis is a health crisis: The health consequences of climate change” . Chair of PPP Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell welcomed Dr Jeni Miller, Executive Director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance and Kathy Baughman McLeod, Senior Vice President and Director of the Adrienne Arsht–Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at the Atlantic Council.
Dr Jeni Miller opened the floor highlighting the various impacts of climate change on human health. She also spoke about why climate action will produce beneficial health outcomes and stressed the importance of placing health at the centre of future climate policy.
In addition to her role at the Atlantic Council, Kathy Baughman McLeod is also the founding member of the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance (EHRA), an alliance of more than 30 global organisations that seeks “to tackle the growing threat of extreme urban heat for vulnerable people worldwide”. Ms Baughman McLeod focused her presentation on one of the deadliest health implications of climate change, one that she defined as a “silent killer” – extreme heat and heatwaves. She spoke about the impact they have on human health and what the EHRA seeks to achieve with its proposal of naming heatwaves.
Highlights of the Environment Health webinar series launch
“It is no exaggeration to say that climate change represents a potentially catastrophic risk to human health. ”
– Dr Jeni Miller, Executive Director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance.
“Heatwaves are a silent killer, how can you solve a problem people don't know about? in a landscape of crises, if something is not burning, people are not going to address it. ”
– Kathy Baughman McLeod, SVP and Director of the Adrienne Arsht–Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at the Atlantic Council.
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