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Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 1 |1 | Climate Change and Health: The Global Response Dr. Maria Neira Director, Public Health and Environment.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 1 |1 | Climate Change and Health: The Global Response Dr. Maria Neira Director, Public Health and Environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 1 |1 | Climate Change and Health: The Global Response Dr. Maria Neira Director, Public Health and Environment

2 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 2 |2 | Why do we need a global response?

3 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 3 |3 | Map of the mean temperature throughout the last 5 years, relative to average conditions for the period Climate change is global Based on data from NASA, 2009

4 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 4 |4 | It affects our largest global health problems -Each year: - Undernutrition kills 3.5 million - Diarrhoea kills 2.2 million - Malaria kills 900, Extreme weather events kill 60,000 These, and others, are highly sensitive to temperature and precipitation. US CDC

5 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 5 |5 | Those most vulnerable did not cause the problem Cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases, to 2002 WHO estimates of per capita mortality from climate change, 2000 WHO Comparative Risk Assessment estimated that by 2000, climate change that had occurred since the 1970s was causing over 150,000 additional deaths per year (WHO, 2002, McMichael et al 2004) With impoverished populations in the developing world the first and hardest hit, climate change is very likely to increase the number of preventable deaths. The gaps in health outcomes we are trying so hard to address right now may grow even greater. This is unacceptable. Climate change and health: preparing for unprecedented challenges. WHO Director General Margaret Chan. December, 2007 Map projections from Patz at al 2007; WHO 2008

6 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 6 |6 | What is the health community doing?

7 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 7 |7 | Climate change is rising on the global health agenda In last two years: WHO DG identifies as a top priority, and selects as theme for World Health Day countries endorse World Health Assembly resolution in 2008 WHO Regional Committees pass Resolutions and frameworks for action 2009 WHO Executive Board and WHA endorse WHO workplan WHO/SEARO for World Health Day 2008

8 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 8 |8 | New engagement across the health community Advocacy: Statements by Royal Colleges, Climate and Health Council, WMA, APHA, ICN… Partnerships: More co-ordination across UN Agencies, Health engagement in cross-sectoral research and planning Evidence: New global research agenda, new international collaborations Strengthening Health Systems: Major pilot projects in 13 countries; Guidance and training resources Lancet/UCL Commission, May 2008

9 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 9 |9 | Where is health in the climate change response?

10 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 10 | State of global climate change negotiations Science broadly settled, all nations agree that we need to respond BUT: The benefits of reducing climate change are dispersed globally, and accrue over many decades Nobody wants to take action and pay the costs, if others do not do their share UN summit on Climate Change, September 2009

11 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 11 | Health is central in the original UNFCCC Health impacts often cited to justify GHG cuts But…. Almost no health representation at UNFCCC Very little health support through adaptation funds GHG Mitigation measures take no account of health Health is still low on the climate change radar

12 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 12 | What can health bring to the climate change table? Climate change and health

13 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 13 | Strengthened action on diseases of poverty: Including wider coverage with vector control and vaccination programmes Improved surveillance and response: E.g. heatwave warnings, compliance with International Health Regulations to prevent international spread of disease Better management of environmental health determinants : Provision of safe water and sanitation, control of air pollution WHO/SEARO 2008 A range of effective "adaptation" measures

14 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 14 | The health profession is: Big: Over 59 million health workers globally. Uniquely well-respected: Present in almost every community in the world, united by a set of common values. Doctor in Democratic Republic of Congo. WHO 2009 A large, well-respected, global community

15 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 15 | "Health benefits from reduced air pollution as a result of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions… may offset a substantial fraction of mitigation costs" – IPCC, 2007 We have an opportunity to reduce: The 1.2 million annual deaths from urban air pollution The 2 million deaths from indoor air pollution The 3.2 million deaths associated with physical inactivity A positive, immediate and local argument for cutting greenhouse gas emission

16 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 16 | What do we still need? Health to be recognized as the "bottom line" of the response to climate change Identification of the health sector as a priority for adaptation support from global to local level Protection and promotion of health as a central criteria for supporting mitigation policies

17 Climate Change and Health: The Global Response 17 | More information: World Health Organization Public Health and Environment Global Environmental Change Climate Change


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