Climate change

The global climate is changing. This affects human health, well-being and life on earth. In the near future it will lead to an amplification of current health problems, as well as new risks and pressures for the environment and the social and economic determinants of health. In the WHO European Region, health effects have already been observed from more frequent and intense extreme weather events as well as changes in the the geographic range of some infectious disease vectors. WHO/Europe works to identify policy options to help prevent, prepare for and respond to the health effects of climate change, and supports its Member States in selecting and implementing the most suitable policies, measures and strategies.

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Health in focus at the UN Climate Change Conference

Tackling the challenges of climate change “is fundamental to the future good health and well-being of all peoples, and thus also at the very core of our striving for sustainable development”.

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Video: Climate change and health

Health in mitigation and adaptation policies

Comprehensive long-term strategies for minimizing the risks associated with climate change require the combination of planned adaptation and mitigation of climate change. WHO/Europe promotes policies that integrate health in mitigation and adaptation interventions.

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Data and statistics

Floods in the European Region affected 3.4 million people and killed more than 1000 between 2000 and 2011. Projected climate-related increases in precipitation are likely to make floods more frequent and severe.

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